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Food Trucks To Be Legislated Out of Existence?

Food trucks have become one of the most popular scenes to hit Jacksonville in recent years. Despite the economic stimulation and cultural excitement, City Councilman Reggie Brown is moving forward on an attempt to legislate food trucks out of existence in Jacksonville.

Published February 25, 2014 in Urban Issues      370 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


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This Wednesday at 3pm, Councilman Reggie Brown will hold a public meeting regarding a draft ordinance that will severely limit the ability of food truck operators to conduct business in Jacksonville.

Food trucks do not have a defined use in the City's current municipal code. This is not surprising given how poorly COJ's zoning and land use laws reflect the reality of today's marketplace. Councilman Brown's bill would finally codify food trucks into the land use and zoning rules, which on the surface has the potential to add clarity and consistency within the market.  However, as drafted this ordinance will have devastating consequences on honest and hard working small business owners.


Interior of The Blind Fig restaurant on King Street. The Blind Fig grew out of the Salty Fig food truck.

Among the lowlights of this ordinance: food trucks must have access to restroom facilities within 100 feet of operation (something which is impossible to provide given that a food truck could not provide an ADA-approved restroom on board), ban food trucks within 500 feet of a public park (employees of Everbank and Fidelity would no longer be able to have food trucks on their own property), ban food trucks from entire areas of town outright (even on private property whose underlying zoning allows for the outside sale and service of food by right), require food trucks to close by midnight (however no similar restriction would be placed on any other restaurant in the entire city), would limit on board refrigeration units to a maximum of two storage devices (which effectively limits the amount of sales a food truck could realize by artificially restricting supply) and would severely limit the ability for food trucks to offer catering services in residential or commercially zoned neighborhoods.

A week after a CNN Money article highlighted Jacksonville's burgeoning startup scene, an industry that has experienced rapid, organic growth locally could now be regulated out of existence by the strong hand of government intervention. Fear of competition has fueled this bizarre move to stifle small business growth. Instead of choosing to reinvest in their own product offerings, competing businesses have instead chosen to lobby Council representatives to protect them from adapting to the marketplace.


Interior of the Corner Taco on Post Street in Five Points. Corner Taco began as a food truck.

In just two short years, food trucks have brought much needed foot traffic downtown. Food truck owners in Jacksonville have gone on to open burgeoning brick and mortar locations which have added to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods. (picture of Pele's, Corner Taco, Salty Fig). Food truck events have raised tens of thousands of dollars for local non-profits. Recently, food truck owners teamed up with Duval County Public Schools and the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce to form a unique job training program where career academy students in local high schools learn valuable career skills by opening and operating their own food truck. In short, food trucks have added to our community's quality of life.

We must ask ourselves, is this the kind of community I want to live in where consumer choice takes a back seat to fear? Is this the environment where I want to start a business while the omnipresent fear of being shut down by government regulations looms large? Is this the kind of place where I want to raise a family when the promise of realizing my own financial self-sufficiency can be taken away at a moment's notice by a well connected group of NIMBY's?


Pele's Wood Fire, located at Park & King Streets. Pele's started off as a mobile vendor.

That choice begins Wednesday in City Council Chambers beginning at 3pm.

Article by Mike Field


NEXT PAGE: The Anti-Food Truck Legislation Being Considered



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370 Comments

Bridges

February 25, 2014, 07:22:23 AM
What the?  What is moving the push behind this?  This is absurd. 

Noone

February 25, 2014, 07:28:09 AM
Flashbacks to 2010-856
Transient vendor ban.
Public, Private, Partnership?
Will be following this along with everyone else.
Thanks for the heads up Mike.

mbwright

February 25, 2014, 08:15:59 AM
What a boneheaded move.  Why not just ban all business within the county line??!!
Who is pushing for this?

thelakelander

February 25, 2014, 08:28:28 AM
My guess is someone not in favor of market rate economics. Considering the clear economic impact the industry brings and the benefit it has on activating dead downtown blocks, this legislation is pretty foolish on Jax's part.

FSBA

February 25, 2014, 09:02:23 AM
Hopefully this thing dies in committee. Something this boneheaded and far reaching only exists so that a slightly less bad ordinance would look "reasonable" by comparison.

BridgeTroll

February 25, 2014, 09:07:53 AM
Perhaps they should add the following amendments...  ::)

Queues may not be longer than three customers.

Fences must be deployed around food truck to ensure no more than three customers at a time.

Electrical power may only be generated through the use of solar panels or windmills.

Trailers may only be towed by a mule.

Customers may not loiter about the area eating or socializing.

ronchamblin

February 25, 2014, 09:09:15 AM
This seems a rather awkward issue.  Competition, as forced by the food trucks, usually is good overall for a business environment, as it lessens complacency and mediocrity.  Excessive competition, as offered by a temporary outsider having advantages via lower overhead and tax costs, can not only destroy the established brick and mortars, but can impair the efforts of an area, such as the city core, to gain "solid, long-term improvements in infrastructure".  By their nature, food trucks are temporary .. perhaps better suited to carnival environments. 

Regarding competition as presented by the food trucks, one might wonder ..  what is to happen to the brick and mortar businesses if ... once they've exhausted all avenues to improve and compete against the food trucks .... the food trucks continue to invade the area .. and continue to offer, by shear quantity, and profound, potentially destructive competition to the established older businesses ... competition which might be a consequence not of quality, but of price offerings set low simply because their overhead is lower via the temporary nature of the food truck operation.

We might ask ourselves... especially in the core ... Do we want to have solid, tax paying brick and mortar establishments, offering long term stability  ...  ultimately offering a more attractive community ambiance -- or do we want a temporary carnival atmosphere?  The goal of any city core is to enhance fundamental infrastructure, to fill the empty buildings, to produce a vibrancy tied directly to solid infrastructure, and not to a temporary carnival scenario which could easily disappear via some unforeseen condition ...  leaving a weakened infrastructure and ambiance .. which might have been caused by their very presence.

The pressure and presence of the food trucks can actually cause a city core to stagnate regarding fundamental improvements in infrastructure .. can reduce new start-ups in the core .... and will leave the city core, after many years of food truck presence, just as it was ... or worse ... before they invaded the area.

The food truck issue is similar to Art Walk and the Jazz Festival.. and One Spark.  These events are wonderful for the most part.  But they are temporary impacts.  They remind us that the city core exists for things other than the jail and the courthouse.  Although all these events are good for the most part, just as with the food trucks, they do not necessarily impact and focus on the fundamentals regarding the goal of achieving full infill and total vibrancy.  The are like candy.... quick pleasures at the expense of long-term quality.

The food trucks ultimately will impede long term efforts to revitalize the city core -- not only by discouraging new start-up investment in brick and mortar operations, but also, if allowed to increase their presence, by acting to destroy the dedicated businesses struggling to survive in the relatively low foot traffic in the core. 

In my opinion, once the city core achieves full infill, and high vibrancy, the presence of food trucks will not be seen as destructive competition ... they will be welcomed.  And the homeless, once full vibrancy has been achieved, will be somewhat welcomed too, as it will give some folks the opportunity to raise themselves up by looking down upon somebody every single day, right in the city core.

Must get to work.

BridgeTroll

February 25, 2014, 09:13:13 AM
Your repeated use of the term "invasion" to describe the trucks is telling...

stephendare

February 25, 2014, 09:14:02 AM

The pressure and presence of the food trucks can actually cause a city core to stagnate regarding fundamental improvements in infrastructure .. can reduce new start-ups in the core .... and will leave the city core, after many years of food truck presence, just as it was ... or worse ... before they invaded the area.

The food trucks ultimately will impede long term efforts to revitalize the city core -- not only by discouraging new start-up investment in brick and mortar operations, but also, if allowed to increase their presence, by acting to destroy the dedicated businesses struggling to survive in the relatively low foot traffic in the core. 


any evidence on this?  Like, which city 'stagnated' because of food trucks?
Which city, for that matter was 'invaded' by them?
Which City was left 'worse' as a result of the 'invasion'?

Which new start up was 'discouraged' by food trucks?  Was it the Salty Fig? Pele's? Corner Taco?

Its like thinking that the presence of book shops will discourage the establishment of libraries.

And which businesses were 'destroyed' by food trucks? 

stephendare

February 25, 2014, 09:16:14 AM
Your repeated use of the term "invasion" to describe the trucks is telling...

Its a term used by Chamblin's friend, Jerry Moran, who has a restaurant down the block.

Keith-N-Jax

February 25, 2014, 09:18:37 AM
So that's what this is really about then.

JayBird

February 25, 2014, 09:18:58 AM
This seems a rather awkward issue.  Competition, as forced by the food trucks, usually is good overall for a business environment, as it lessens complacency and mediocrity.  Excessive competition, as offered by a temporary outsider having advantages via lower overhead and tax costs, can not only destroy the established brick and mortars, but can impair the efforts of an area, such as the city core, to gain "solid, long-term improvements in infrastructure".  By their nature, food trucks are temporary .. perhaps better suited to carnival environments. 

Regarding competition as presented by the food trucks, one might wonder ..  what is to happen to the brick and mortar businesses if ... once they've exhausted all avenues to improve and compete against the food trucks .... the food trucks continue to invade the area .. and continue to offer, by shear quantity, and profound, potentially destructive competition to the established older businesses ... competition which might be a consequence not of quality, but of price offerings set low simply because their overhead is lower via the temporary nature of the food truck operation.

We might ask ourselves... especially in the core ... Do we want to have solid, tax paying brick and mortar establishments, offering long term stability  ...  ultimately offering a more attractive community ambiance -- or do we want a temporary carnival atmosphere?  The goal of any city core is to enhance fundamental infrastructure, to fill the empty buildings, to produce a vibrancy tied directly to solid infrastructure, and not to a temporary carnival scenario which could easily disappear via some unforeseen condition ...  leaving a weakened infrastructure and ambiance .. which might have been caused by their very presence.

The pressure and presence of the food trucks can actually cause a city core to stagnate regarding fundamental improvements in infrastructure .. can reduce new start-ups in the core .... and will leave the city core, after many years of food truck presence, just as it was ... or worse ... before they invaded the area.

The food truck issue is similar to Art Walk and the Jazz Festival.. and One Spark.  These events are wonderful for the most part.  But they are temporary impacts.  They remind us that the city core exists for things other than the jail and the courthouse.  Although all these events are good for the most part, just as with the food trucks, they do not necessarily impact and focus on the fundamentals regarding the goal of achieving full infill and total vibrancy.  The are like candy.... quick pleasures at the expense of long-term quality.

The food trucks ultimately will impede long term efforts to revitalize the city core -- not only by discouraging new start-up investment in brick and mortar operations, but also, if allowed to increase their presence, by acting to destroy the dedicated businesses struggling to survive in the relatively low foot traffic in the core. 

In my opinion, once the city core achieves full infill, and high vibrancy, the presence of food trucks will not be seen as destructive competition ... they will be welcomed.  And the homeless, once full vibrancy has been achieved, will be somewhat welcomed too, as it will give some folks the opportunity to raise themselves up by looking down upon somebody every single day, right in the city core.

Must get to work.

This is written as if by someone whom as never stepped foot downtown in the past two years. The food trucks aren't taking business away from DT, actually the exact opposite has happened. People would go elsewhere to eat but by keepin them DT you are allowing them to see what other retail is open in the neighborhood. And the fact that the article lists three food trucks that have opened brick and mortar locations show that they are are welcomed by the community.

I mean, this is absurd as saying we should have legislation that bans bookstores downtown because they hurt the library and the library system needs more foot traffic which will come by banning bookstores.

With election talking heating up, I wonder how much of a ploy this is just to get his name out there. Even bad press is good press for politicians.

BridgeTroll

February 25, 2014, 09:19:42 AM
Your repeated use of the term "invasion" to describe the trucks is telling...

Its a term used by Chamblin's friend, Jerry Moran, who has a restaurant down the block.



Is there a high end italian food truck?

JayBird

February 25, 2014, 09:20:53 AM
Ron, or anyone for that matter, how many restaurants have been forced to close or cut back because of this invasion of foood trucks?

stephendare

February 25, 2014, 09:22:17 AM
Your repeated use of the term "invasion" to describe the trucks is telling...

Its a term used by Chamblin's friend, Jerry Moran, who has a restaurant down the block.



Is there a high end italian food truck?

not that I know of, but almost none of them come with a harangue about how the bums and 'those people' are destroying downtown until you literally cannot enjoy your almost flavored pasta.

thelakelander

February 25, 2014, 09:23:45 AM
 
Quote
Like, which city 'stagnated' because of food trucks?

Bingo. Good luck coming up with one city that has economically stagnated because of food trucks? 

What businesses and parks (seriously, why can't a truck be anywhere near a park?) locally are suffering specifically because of food trucks? 

This whole thing is really silly but a great example of  why Jacksonville continues to struggle with downtown and urban core revitalization.

thelakelander

February 25, 2014, 09:28:16 AM
The food truck issue is similar to Art Walk and the Jazz Festival.. and One Spark.  These events are wonderful for the most part.  But they are temporary impacts.  They remind us that the city core exists for things other than the jail and the courthouse.  Although all these events are good for the most part, just as with the food trucks, they do not necessarily impact and focus on the fundamentals regarding the goal of achieving full infill and total vibrancy.  The are like candy.... quick pleasures at the expense of long-term quality.

The food trucks ultimately will impede long term efforts to revitalize the city core -- not only by discouraging new start-up investment in brick and mortar operations, but also, if allowed to increase their presence, by acting to destroy the dedicated businesses struggling to survive in the relatively low foot traffic in the core.

Ron, I love you but you couldn't be more wrong with this particular comment. The start up brick and mortar restaurants below are all local urban core examples of growth from food trucks.





stephendare

February 25, 2014, 09:30:26 AM
In fact, many of the most exciting new restaurants in the area began a food trucks which proved the viability of the business model.

By direct sales and marketing.

BridgeTroll

February 25, 2014, 09:31:20 AM
Ate at corner Taco after the beerfest at RAM saturday.  There was a line to get in when it opened at 6.  Food was delicious...  8)

IrvAdams

February 25, 2014, 09:44:25 AM
Jax food trucks have proved so popular that the city of Jacksonville Beach actually copied us and have allowed them to set up shop there. How often has that happened?

stephendare

February 25, 2014, 09:49:41 AM
Jax food trucks have proved so popular that the city of Jacksonville Beach actually copied us and have allowed them to set up shop there. How often has that happened?

its amazing how anti small business this council is.
Love and his pandering to the WLA folks passed legislation to prevent small businesses from opening in riverside avondale
The city pushed out locals in favor of SMG
and of course, now Brown wants to ban small businesses of a certain type altogether.

How exactly are young people supposed to become upwardly mobile or create economic opportunity for themselves, if these retarded marmosets keep making opportunity either illegal or impossible to grasp?

We definitely have the worst city council in the Consolidated history of Jacksonville.

sonoandrea

February 25, 2014, 10:05:43 AM
Please forgive my ignorance (I'm pretty new to paying attention to this sort of thing) but where is the public meeting being held on Wednesday at 3pm?  I am far from an eloquent speaker, but I would like to show my support for the food trucks and let Brown know how stupid this ordinance is.

hightowerlover

February 25, 2014, 10:12:11 AM
When will Jacksonville grow up.  There's a million+ people in this area, granted many of them have no desire to go downtown.  If a food truck is what it takes to get people down there, it's not taking someone who otherwise would have been coming to your brick and mortar store, but it's adding vibrancy and activating an otherwise desolate area. 

If someone sees a food truck and thinks, hmm, this food looks a lot more appealling than your restaurant, you are doing something wrong with your restaurant.  Compete or fail, because America.

Keith-N-Jax

February 25, 2014, 10:18:39 AM
Good points HT.

stephendare

February 25, 2014, 10:18:48 AM
Council Member Brown may be reached at (904) 630-1684 or RBrown@coj.net.

stephendare

February 25, 2014, 10:19:24 AM
Good points HT.


+1,000

Bridges

February 25, 2014, 10:23:49 AM
If someone sees a food truck and thinks, hmm, this food looks a lot more appealling than your restaurant, you are doing something wrong with your restaurant.  Compete or fail, because America.

If your restaurant can't compete with a food business that has no A/C, no restrooms, and no seating, then I'd say maybe you don't have a very good restaurant to begin with.

bbush904

February 25, 2014, 10:26:31 AM
Sign the petition here:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/save-jax-truckies.fb40?source=c.fb&r_by=2316174

stephendare

February 25, 2014, 10:30:20 AM
Its a sad state of affairs when a simple editorialist cannot decide how best to accurately describe a city council person, and the choice is between 'dangerous idiot' or 'thermonuclear dumbass'.

markboo404

February 25, 2014, 10:33:36 AM
Council Member Brown may be reached at (904) 630-1684 or RBrown@coj.net

Please call and email Ordinance 2014 Food Truck Restrictions

IF NOT YOU THEN WHO WILL DO IT!

Tacachale

February 25, 2014, 10:45:27 AM
Ron, at the last several food truck events I also went into Chamblins if it was open, and as you know, I usually buy something when I'm there. I doubt I'm the only one. Art Walk is also usually my time to check out Chamblins and introduce others to the store. The rising sea lifts all boats.

JoeMerchant

February 25, 2014, 10:47:55 AM
Aww, c'mon. Everyone knows that the best way to vibrancy is limiting a potential visitors choices.

Keith-N-Jax

February 25, 2014, 10:55:42 AM
I added to my petitions that many of our residents to see DT as a destination, so every chance we get to bring people DT should be exploited not done away with. I also shared the link on FB

I truly believe this city needs a massive transfusion to ever succeed( didn't included that :)) 

Dog Walker

February 25, 2014, 11:16:35 AM
What the food trucks might be impacting are the Quizno's and Subways.  Probably not even that.  They certainly are not affecting Magnificat Cafe, Burro Gallery, Chomp-chomp, or Indochine.

Having them in Hemming Plaza brings a welcome mix of new people there as well as their other locations downtown.  If a brick and mortar location with a more extensive menu can't compete with a food truck then there is something wrong with their food and service.

Get Reggie Brown in a strong light and trace the strings back to the puppeteer.

Pogg

February 25, 2014, 11:21:53 AM
May we get investigative reporting on who funding/pushing the politicians to do this bone head move. I would love to boycott & protest in front of their businesses.

ronchamblin

February 25, 2014, 11:35:49 AM
Just glanced at some of the comments.  Looks like my hastily written thoughts this morning were not conveyed accurately.  Some of you are missing the points I've offered ... and therefore the comments are understandable.  Because I continue to believe that my points are valid, I will soon attempt again to make them.  I don't have time now, as I must work, but I will get back later.   

stephendare

February 25, 2014, 11:39:22 AM
Just glanced at some of the comments.  Looks like my hastily written thoughts this morning were not conveyed accurately.  Some of you are missing the points I've offered ... and therefore the comments are understandable.  Because I continue to believe that my points are valid, I will soon attempt again to make them.  I don't have time now, as I must work, but I will get back later.

hmm. so the reason we are too stupid to agree with your points is that we werent bright enough to understand the shining truths you were trying to represent?

Well that makes a certain sense, I suppose.

Dont rush back from work on our account.  Its obviously going to take a lot of work for us to understand your plainly written essay.  because, you know......slow learners.

BoldBoyOfTheSouth

February 25, 2014, 12:13:28 PM
How come our Cowardly Mayor Brown has not been vocal against this issue and gives a veto threat?

Mayor Brown has to be one of the mostly indecisive and cowardly mayors in the country.

His lack of leadership and murky beliefs are hurting our city.

BoldBoyOfTheSouth

February 25, 2014, 12:15:56 PM
Any restaurant that fears competition from a food truck most likely is a terrible restaurant with bad food at high prices or horrid service.

BoldBoyOfTheSouth

February 25, 2014, 12:32:26 PM
I just called Councilman Brown's office and I was sent straight to voicemail.

Perhaps we should compile a list of his public events and coordinate people to show up and let our voices be heard.

bencrix

February 25, 2014, 12:32:58 PM
Folks, Mike Field will be at Aardwolf tonight discussing his work with Food Trucks, etc... There will be a food truck there as well (On the Fly). This is a great opportunity for folks to gather and engage this issue, local brew in one hand, braised pulled pork taco in the other... https://www.facebook.com/events/714884011877824/


thelakelander

February 25, 2014, 12:35:42 PM
How come our Cowardly Mayor Brown has not been vocal against this issue and gives a veto threat?

Mayor Brown has to be one of the mostly indecisive and cowardly mayors in the country.

His lack of leadership and murky beliefs are hurting our city.

Councilman Brown is considering this legislation. Not Mayor Alvin Brown.

Riverrat

February 25, 2014, 12:41:55 PM
"QUICK! Downtown is becoming too vibrant! Let's do something to ruin it!"

thelakelander

February 25, 2014, 12:51:40 PM
I'm willing to bet there has not been a lick of economic research behind this push to limit food trucks locally. For example, 136 permanent jobs have been created between Monroe's, Blind Fig, Blind Rabbit and Corner Taco. The last three are trucks that have grown into Brick & Mortar restaurants that have invested in upgrading existing building stock in established neighborhoods. Two of those new brick & mortars spend $300k combined each month purchasing local food and supplies. Monroe's is an example of a local restaurant that has utilized a food truck to expand their recognition and brand in the community. We're still waiting on numbers from two more truck related restaurants, Pele's and El Palermo.

Since the trucks are being accused of killing existing businesses and not spurring economic development, it would be interesting to compare the number of local jobs created by food trucks and their brick & mortar spin-offs since 2012 verses the amount of jobs "lost" because of them. 

At the end of the day, if someone wants to limit them, then their argument should tie back to hard economical data and not opinions based off of fear of competition in the natural marketplace.

Captain Zissou

February 25, 2014, 12:52:17 PM
Probably 15 friends of mine have shared the article on Facebook. Most of these people do not often speak out about issues like this. Hopefully they also speak up in ways that Councilman Brown will hear, but I've never seen a movement like this about an issue in Jax. Hopefully this will be DOA when it hits the council

TheCat

February 25, 2014, 12:56:56 PM
Quote
The pressure and presence of the food trucks can actually cause a city core to stagnate regarding fundamental improvements in infrastructure .. can reduce new start-ups in the core .... and will leave the city core, after many years of food truck presence, just as it was ... or worse ... before they invaded the area.

Ban Food Trucks? Bring on the bookmobiles!

TheCat

February 25, 2014, 01:07:23 PM
Quote
Regarding competition as presented by the food trucks, one might wonder ..  what is to happen to the brick and mortar businesses if ... once they've exhausted all avenues to improve and compete against the food trucks .... the food trucks continue to invade the area .. and continue to offer, by shear quantity, and profound, potentially destructive competition to the established older businesses ... competition which might be a consequence not of quality, but of price offerings set low simply because their overhead is lower via the temporary nature of the food truck operation.

Can we at least get to the point where "they've exhausted all avenues to improve and compete against the food trucks" ? If I remember correctly, microwaving eggs for breakfast sandwiches is still common place at some downtown restaurants... ;)




hankwatson

February 25, 2014, 01:16:02 PM
This kind of thinking is why Jacksonville struggles with its image around the country & the world. One step forward; three steps back. The visceral response is that food trucks are a threat to our beloved brick and mortar restaurants.

 Anyone who knows me, knows that I support our local restaurants vigorously. But I also support anyone with a great idea and creative/great food, being able to get it out to the people who want to buy it. I don't quite understand why Jacksonville would be the only vibrant community (or trying to be) where food trucks wipe out great brick & mortar restaurants. If you've got good food and good service, you got this (plus, you probably have the advantage of being able to offer a table to sit at, and an adult beverage to consume - the odds are in your favor, not the food truck!). If your food & service ain't all that, but you're the only game nearby, consider stepping up your game and create loyal customers, rather than skating by with the bare minimum because you have a captive audience.

 We've had some our of fav local restaurants pop up from food truck humble beginnings. Instead of trying to bend the will of the people of Jacksonville to accommodate your fear, consider viewing this as an opportunity to improve your product, be it food, service or both. If you're stuck in a crap location (we've all seen the locations where nothing succeeds), use this as an opportunity to start your own food truck. Consider the positives and opportunities, and let's keep Jacksonville moving forward towards the bright, vibrant city we are destined to be.

fsquid

February 25, 2014, 02:07:22 PM
someone should really look to make sure this councilman cannot pass his idiotic genes to any offspring.  Dumbest thing I've read in quite sometime.

thelakelander

February 25, 2014, 02:16:54 PM
^I wouldn't call him an idiot but it's obvious that someone he respects is constantly in his ear, telling him how they are suffering because of the big bad food trucks.  In this town, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Like I tell my sons, some time it's not the other guy, it's you and accepting personal responsibility to enhance what you bring to the table.

bencrix

February 25, 2014, 02:23:04 PM
Note that our event tonight at Aardwolf featuring Mike Field and On the Fly would be illegal under the proposal. We'll be less than 500 feet from Southside Park! https://www.facebook.com/events/714884011877824/. (Apparently it is illegal for Aardwolf to sell food, which may be why foodtrucks and local brewers are such a great match... Can anyone verify?)

tufsu1

February 25, 2014, 02:37:35 PM
its amazing how anti small business this council is.

I am strongly opposed to this legislation and have signed the online petition

That said, two things of note:

1. It is a bit more nuanced - I'm sure there are plenty of brick and mortar establishments that are in favor of severely restricting/eliminating food trucks...so the legislation isn't necessarily anti-business....just favors certain types of businesses

2. This is one council member - until we know that he has others with him, its not appropriate to make a generalization about the whole Council

stephendare

February 25, 2014, 02:44:00 PM
its amazing how anti small business this council is.

I am strongly opposed to this legislation and have signed the online petition

That said, two things of note:

1. It is a bit more nuanced - I'm sure there are plenty of brick and mortar establishments that are in favor of severely restricting/eliminating food trucks...so the legislation isn't necessarily anti-business....just favors certain types of businesses

2. This is one council member - until we know that he has others with him, its not appropriate to make a generalization about the whole Council

Thanks for the sophomore lecture, tufsu. But the word parsing is a little tedious.  If the legislation is 'only' anti 'some' businesses, then obviously it is 'antibusiness'  Why do you even bother posting this kind of stuff?  Brown nosing isn't really an effective leadership technique you know.

And the council has passed a lot of anti small business legislation, which we have dutifully chronicled on these pages, so why not sell your chestnuts to the kind of people who fell off an applecart into the middle of town yesterday.

Metrojacksonville is a little more seasoned than that.

tufsu1

February 25, 2014, 02:46:17 PM
sorry Stephen...I learned from the best when it comes to word parsing ;)

stephendare

February 25, 2014, 02:47:34 PM
sorry Stephen...I learned from the best when it comes to word parsing ;)

you must not have gotten very good grades at it then.  You should have audited the course first. ;)

Intuition Ale Works

February 25, 2014, 03:18:51 PM
Note that our event tonight at Aardwolf featuring Mike Field and On the Fly would be illegal under the proposal. We'll be less than 500 feet from Southside Park! https://www.facebook.com/events/714884011877824/. (Apparently it is illegal for Aardwolf to sell food, which may be why foodtrucks and local brewers are such a great match... Can anyone verify?)

Aardwolf has a PUD that allows them to have food trucks. Spoke with them today about the issue to confirm.

RyeRyeRocco

February 25, 2014, 04:19:04 PM
It seems like this just popped up out of nowhere. Is that truly the case or has this been around for a while?

fieldafm

February 25, 2014, 04:35:23 PM
Note that our event tonight at Aardwolf featuring Mike Field and On the Fly would be illegal under the proposal. We'll be less than 500 feet from Southside Park! https://www.facebook.com/events/714884011877824/. (Apparently it is illegal for Aardwolf to sell food, which may be why foodtrucks and local brewers are such a great match... Can anyone verify?)

Aardwolf has a PUD that allows them to have food trucks. Spoke with them today about the issue to confirm.

That is correct, thanks to the very esteemed Councilwoman Lori Boyer.

edjax

February 25, 2014, 04:46:27 PM
^I wouldn't call him an idiot but it's obvious that someone he respects is constantly in his ear, telling him how they are suffering because of the big bad food trucks.  In this town, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Like I tell my sons, some time it's not the other guy, it's you and accepting personal responsibility to enhance what you bring to the table.

Well if the said councilman is simply going by what someone is whispering in his ear and not doing his own homework or using his own common sense, he is an idiot.  Regardless if others do the same in council as I am pretty sure he is not the only idiot on the city council.

Ocklawaha

February 25, 2014, 05:11:40 PM
Leave it to Jacksonville to completely screw up a good thing, national attention and booming business not withstanding.

Personally being the oft mean SOB that I'm accused of, I think we should hold a massive water festival and reinstate the dunking chair (just for the occasion) for these washed out buffoons.


The Jacksonville Dunking fest and Chum Celebration.

My God people, back in my Sunday School days we'd sometimes have a church fest where the pastors of the Methodist, Baptist, Church of Christ and Presbyterians, would all swap pulpits for a week of picnics and fun. ...And it was fun, as well as educational. So here's another CONSTRUCTIVE thought, why don't we swap city governments for a month with someplace equally progressive.

Imagine, we have already made it nearly impossible to do business in downtown town. (Hell, Ennis and I talked at length to a large maritime operator who had been fighting with the city for nearly 2 years just to get a permit for a mobile office!) So we don't dredge the port? Southeast HSR appears headed to Savannah and Atlanta and with the new joint private-public partnerships between CSX and NS and a group of states ranging from North Carolina to Illinois the new 'National Gateway Projects' promise to divert more of our rail traffic to Norfolk, Wilmington and Savannah, The Florida East Coast and the State of Florida are possibly driving the final nail in our cargo coffin. Want a cheap airline ticket? Drive to Orlando. Want a beach? Go to Cocoa. Want a Skyline? Go to Miami. Want a playground? Go to Orlando. Want gas? Stop in Jax but don't have your music on too loud! Damn it people we've got a national treasure in our river, want to kayak? Unless you like navigating shopping carts and turds, better head for the Wekiva or the Econ. Want to fish? Don't you dare in our downtown. Roller skate? Criminal! Skateboard? Thug! Pedestrian or Bike Rider? Moving target...

Let me share a little video from the 'Ocklawa-homa' wall of memories and family history. We can't swap governments with 'Whizbang,' anymore. I've been there. Remember I was a City Councilman in the famed 'Oil Patch'. OKIE ROOTS to the core! Some of these photos might have my father, mother, or aunts and uncles in them, you see they were all there too. Whizbang was for it's size FAR more industrial then Jacksonville has ever been, and today one can sit atop that hill and listen to the wind blow through the tall grass prairie. While we will likely never go the way of Whizbang, our city's misleaders are walking a similar path by not capturing the opportunities as they come and resting on what has-been a great city. Here is Whizbang's little tale:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/5yiv8S0Ge8k?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/5yiv8S0Ge8k?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>

Now about that government swap idea? How about we swap with Pawhuska, a true city and capital of the Osage Nation, even with state and national aid, a large central business district, and an industrial district once served by both the Santa Fe and the Missouri Pacific Railroads, nested in the scenic Osage Hills, Pawhuska is a mirror image of Jacksonville's apparent future.


Pawhuska, CBD, actually goes on for blocks but with only slightly more soap on the windows then Jacksonville.

Ah but who the hell am I? Pawhuska is looking better every day however!
WAKE THE HELL UP! TIME TO PULL OUR COLLECTIVE HEADS OUT REGGIE! IT CAN HAPPEN HERE!


Wanna trade? We await your call Jacksonville! 5 will get you 10 that THIS council could do better!

Jaxson

February 25, 2014, 05:56:23 PM
I have never been to a food truck or a food truck rally (As a Capricorn, I can sometimes be slow to try new things) but I am now tempted to visit a food truck to see what all the fuss is about.  IMHO, the strangest thing about the opposition to food trucks is that their opposition may actually result in more people patronizing the food trucks.

IrvAdams

February 25, 2014, 06:15:44 PM
^^^ Totally agree.

stephendare

February 25, 2014, 06:33:22 PM
So apparently the word over at the City Hall is that if people can make it to the DIA meeting in the morning at 10am in the Lynwood Roberts Room and speak up about the importance of the food truck culture, then the DIA might be persuaded to weigh in against this legislation.

I can make it down there if anyone else is interested in going.

stephendare

February 25, 2014, 07:01:37 PM
By the way, a couple of people have really piled onto the mayor's office for this issue, and if we are going to be effective, I think its important to keep a clear idea of who and what is responsible.

This is Reggie Brown's bill, and he has the right to propose any kind of legislation he would like to, regardless of what the Mayor would like to see happen.

And in reality, the Mayor's office has been pretty good on the issue of food trucks.  Two different city departments have been encouraged to figure out how to include food trucks into the downtown mix, which led to the parking commissioner setting up an actual station for food truck service right in downtown itself by the Courthouse.

I definitely concur in much of the criticism of the mayor's office, but in fairness, he can't really veto a bill that hasn't actually been introduced and put into the legislative calendar, which it hasnt.

THey have a lot to answer for, but food trucks arent among them.

yet, anyways.

Charles Hunter

February 25, 2014, 07:36:02 PM
Parsing the ordinance - even though the whole thing must be shot down.

250.117 Excluded areas
Why within 500' of any SF Residential dwelling (Fire Station #1?), a residential subdivision, or CN zoning?  Isn't there CN all over town?

Part 12
250.1201 [a] - Licenses - OK, they need one
[b ] Vending Areas - Commercial and Industrial zoning only?  Why?
[c] Not impede traffic - I guess that makes sense, but does "impede" mean?
[d] location restrictions - some make sense (not block view of traffic or traffic signals), but once you start drawing the circles around the prohibition zones, you might not have much room left.
250.1202
[a] Regarding propane/fuel tanks - what are "all Duval County Health Dept. regulations and Jacksonville Fire Dept. regulations"?  Is that where the restroom requirement comes in, that some (not here) have talked about?
[e] Why close down at midnight?  Are brick andmortar establishments going to have this restriction?
[f-2] Why only two coolers?
[f-3] WHat does having the cooking or cooling unit "an integral part" mean?  Does the stove/fridge have to be welded to the frame?

250.1203 Pick up your trash.  OK.  Can we require brick and morter places to do this (drive-through's anyone?)?

250.1204 Insurance - OK, but is this required of B&M places?

Abbourgoyne

February 25, 2014, 11:45:50 PM
Quote
Like, which city 'stagnated' because of food trucks?

Bingo. Good luck coming up with one city that has economically stagnated because of food trucks? 

What businesses and parks (seriously, why can't a truck be anywhere near a park?) locally are suffering specifically because of food trucks? 

This whole thing is really silly but a great example of  why Jacksonville continues to struggle with downtown and urban core revitalization.

Food trucks are currently allowed in Hemming Plaza (a city managed park) on a weekly basis, FYI.

thelakelander

February 26, 2014, 12:07:26 AM
^If the proposed legislation is passed, food trucks will not be allowed within 500 feet of Hemming Plaza or any other public park in town.

DeadGirlsDontDance

February 26, 2014, 12:54:28 AM

Save Jax Truckies Petition

To be delivered to Bill Gulliford, President of City Council and Reggie Brown, 904) 630-1684
Tell our City Council to not pass Councilman Reggie Brown's ordinance that will severely limit the ability of food truck operators to conduct business in Jacksonville.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/save-jax-truckies.fb48?source=s.icn.fb&r_by=2227935

Noone

February 26, 2014, 02:41:16 AM
^If the proposed legislation is passed, food trucks will not be allowed within 500 feet of Hemming Plaza or any other public park in town.

How will this effect the recent $750,000 taxpayer subsidized Unity Plaza?

ronchamblin

February 26, 2014, 07:38:10 AM
Sorry about delay on getting back.  And I apologize for the repetitive phrases, as I don't have the time to revise.  The opposing comments demand a clarification of my original post.  First, I must say that my concern is primarily that of city core revitalization and infill, and that decisions like allowing food trucks into the core affect negatively our objectives to revitalize.  Any decision allowing food trucks into the core is one of seeking immediate pleasure at the expense of long term health.  We've been engaging this habit for too long, avoiding the work to actually force the return of a city core we can all be proud of.

 My points concern the dynamics of a somewhat desolate city core; not of a vibrant core, nor of vibrant areas like King St/Five Points/Avondale/San Marco, which are immune to negative impacts from food trucks simply because the businesses in these areas are strong ..  stabilized with high foot traffic.  My only concern about food trucks, is their aggressive appearance in the city core, which is probably the only place in the county that could be negatively impacted by an aggressive food truck presence.

The only place we should consider restricting the food trucks, unless there is good reason for doing so in other areas, is the city core; and the reason for restrictions in the core is not necessarily to protect the restaurants in the core, as any good restaurant will survive in any case, but to promote an environment for the opening of new restaurants in the low-foot traffic core area.

If food trucks continue to supply food for the permanent core workers, residents, and visitors .. on a permanent basis, there will be less demand for, and therefore incentive for, the opening of new restaurants in the core.     

If one imagines two extreme states within the city core, one being desolation and the other being vibrancy, then one might imagine a path between the two.  Our city core is not far from zero on the path to a natural, self-sustaining vibrancy.  The outlying areas mentioned above have already reached vibrancy and infill.

I have assumed that everyone wants a city core which enjoys a self-sustained vibrancy - fully infilled with residents, workers, businesses, and visitors - approaching, as is practical, conditions in the 40’s.  Careless decisions, such as allowing food trucks into the core, while providing convenient pleasures to the tummy, and the illusions of vibrancy, will ultimately impede our journey to genuine full infill and vibrancy.

A fully energized, vibrant city core, wherein rental space is almost non-existent, will not be negatively impacted by the presence of food trucks, and so they could be welcomed in the future, as would the few vagrants and homeless people -- as they add spice.

A city core such as ours, somewhat stabilized in a condition forced to endure  low foot traffic, high vacancy rates, empty buildings, and vacant lots -- call it desolation -- needs focused programs and actions which urge, encourage, assist, entice, and even forces “permanent and fundamental” impacts such as new residents, new businesses, new bars and restaurants, new theaters, museums, and new investors into the core.  Food trucks only give an illusion of activity.

While Art Walk, the Jazz Festival, and One Spark provide temporary vibrancy, and introduce people to the core - the food trucks, if brought aggressively into the city core during the current period of weakness and desolation, will further weaken or destroy the restaurants coping with the low foot traffic, and will convince other start-ups to choose areas already vibrant - which is the current habit.  Where are the pioneers?

What is important?  What is the issue?  If it is one of achieving sustained city core infill and vibrancy, a condition wherein the momentum and energy encourages prosperity for all in the area, then we must make decisions toward those ends - and not decisions which waste time, money, and energy on facades, on hopes, on temporary excitements, on appearances .... on entities such as food trucks in the core ...as these decisions will only prolong core stagnation. 

Food trucks not only have little positive impact on the city core in its struggle toward sustained vibrancy, they also give false indicators of real progress toward vibrancy.  They sap business from restaurants enduring the current poor economy and the low foot traffic in the core.

Strengthening the core in fundamental ways first .. by any method .... so that more residents, businesses, and visitors will wish to enter it, is the current pressing objective.  Once vibrancy and infill is accomplished, those food truck entrepreneurs who learned their skills in the trucks, will actually have before them, a core which offers high probability of survival if they choose to open a brick and mortar.... or even if they wish to offer their food truck to the city core.  The current proposed ban of food trucks will be temporary, and needed only until the core reaches full infill and vibrancy.   

Allowing an aggressive population of food trucks into the city core will give only an “appearance” of vibrancy ... an illusion of real busyness in the core .... an illusion resulting in a false sense of accomplishment of genuine infill and vibrancy .. and therefore complacency and inaction ... which can only delay movement toward the goal of genuine self-sustaining full vibrancy. We need solid and permanent changes to the policies and infrastructures in the core, so that genuine infill will occur.. so that real vibrancy can emerge.

Must get to work.   

 

     

 

     

thelakelander

February 26, 2014, 07:51:28 AM
Quote
If food trucks continue to supply food for the permanent core workers, residents, and visitors .. on a permanent basis, there will be less demand for, and therefore incentive for, the opening of new restaurants in the core.

I'm in a rush at the moment, so I didn't read through your entire post, but it would be pretty bad for a city to over regulate an industry based on something like this, without valid economic data to back up the argument.  One of the worst things about downtown and why it doesn't work has been our ability to over regulate market rate creativity and innovation due to fear and opinions of select segments of our population that can't be logically proven.  Time and time again, for some reason, things that excel around the globe are seen as unworkable in Jax. Time and time again, we react by imposing conditions that drive the nail in downtown's coffin a little deeper.

As we continue to do this, all we effectively do is waste taxpayer money on additional unproven DT revitalization gimmicks while the free market continues take money and opportunity to everyplace else.  That's great news for residents and business owners in Riverside, Springfield, Murray Hill, Brooklyn, San Marco, etc. but you're further killing yourself in the Northbank.  At the end of the day, customers, companies and potential residents vote with their feet, so if DT is over regulated and limited to sandwich shops that aren't even open most of the week and weekends, that money and business opportunity will just flow over to another walkable district that appeals the same demographic.

The best thing we can do for downtown is to facilitate the market. This means, stepping back to a degree and letting the city evolve organically for a change.  This crazy, well unresearched legislation as proposed does nothing but take our community back a couple of steps back.

BridgeTroll

February 26, 2014, 07:53:04 AM
You make claims... and then provide no proof... examples include...

Quote
decisions like allowing food trucks into the core affect negatively our objectives to revitalize.

and

Quote
If food trucks continue to supply food for the permanent core workers, residents, and visitors .. on a permanent basis, there will be less demand for, and therefore incentive for, the opening of new restaurants in the core.

and

Quote
Food trucks not only have little positive impact on the city core in its struggle toward sustained vibrancy, they also give false indicators of real progress toward vibrancy.  They sap business from restaurants enduring the current poor economy and the low foot traffic in the core.

ronchamblin

February 26, 2014, 08:10:12 AM
Thanks for feedback Lake and BT.  There are times, as one seeks solutions, to think through possible and probable dynamics ... without having a history of evidence to support decisions.  Similar to the scientific method?  Nobody had complete evidence that the atomic bomb would actually work on the first try.

I'm simply saying that we should consider the consequences of what we are actually doing,  when we promote food trucks into the city core.  I suggest that we hold them off for now, and make decisions that not only avoid weakening what we have, but will move the core to further real strength. 

We should avoid the candy in the core for now, which food trucks represent, and seek good nourishment via creative innovations which actually result in fundamental infrastructural improvements.  We must prepare the city core for brick and mortar entries ... we must encourage and facilitate brick and mortar start-ups, and not encourage a false sense of real progress via temporary food trucks, which will only create an environment hostile to existing restaurants, and to potential start-ups.  Yes.... invite the food trucks when the time is right ....  after genuine vibrancy is achieved.  To invite them into the core now, is similar to the shallow thinking of a child who doesn't have the patience or experience to see the full consequences of otherwise desirable behavior, such as eating candy and chocolate all day long.   

BoldBoyOfTheSouth

February 26, 2014, 08:11:53 AM
I'm think of attending this meeting at City Hall @ 10:30

Anybody else able to attend?

ronchamblin

February 26, 2014, 08:22:57 AM
I'm think of attending this meeting at City Hall @ 10:30

Anybody else able to attend?

Good.  I presume I've an ally .... that you've been convinced by valid argument.

Intuition Ale Works

February 26, 2014, 08:51:17 AM
I'm think of attending this meeting at City Hall @ 10:30

Anybody else able to attend?

Meeting is at 3pm.

strider

February 26, 2014, 09:00:54 AM
The other side of Ron's argument is simply that as it is Downtown offers little to those who are indeed still working and living downtown to keep them from getting in a car at lunch and dinner time and driving out of Downtown. It seems to me that to make Downtown more attractive for new B&M places, we need to show foot traffic.  Food trucks can do that.  So, while I can understand the idea that food trucks could negatively impact a possible B&M restaurant, it seems much more likely to promote B&M businesses of other types that the increased foot traffic could use.  The special events bring into Downtown many who other wise would not go and then the existing B&M restaurants can not meet demand so then without food trucks, people will be less likely to come back.  If anything, people like Ron should be welcoming the food trucks and the special events for the increased foot traffic they bring. Every new customer of a food truck at lunch or at a special event is a potential future new customer of a B&M business.

Downtown is not the same nor has the same marketing needs as other areas.  If it did, if the same that worked on King Street would work Downtown, then we would not be having this discussion, Downtown would be more like King Street already.  If the status quo was going to work for Downtown, it would have already. Food trucks Downtown is a relatively new thing and it appears to be working on some level or no one would be trying to stop them.

Perhaps rather than fight this current ordinance, we should be writing our own amendment that takes some funding and creates permanent, nicely groomed places for the food trucks and then rents them out.  Maybe the parks downtown should have public facilities along side those permanent spots.  Federal dollars might be found for the creation of those facilities (based on the idea that they could be used by the homeless) with the rents from the food trucks maintaining them.  Perhaps also we could afford to put those tables and chairs back into Hemming Park.  (Maybe even with Federal funds as they could be used by the Homeless. ) Hey, if Paul Harden can write new ordinances, we should be able to as well.

ronchamblin

February 26, 2014, 09:13:23 AM
The other side of Ron's argument is simply that as it is Downtown offers little to those who are indeed still working and living downtown to keep them from getting in a car at lunch and dinner time and driving out of Downtown. It seems to me that to make Downtown more attractive for new B&M places, we need to show foot traffic.  Food trucks can do that.  So, while I can understand the idea that food trucks could negatively impact a possible B&M restaurant, it seems much more likely to promote B&M businesses of other types that the increased foot traffic could use.  The special events bring into Downtown many who other wise would not go and then the existing B&M restaurants can not meet demand so then without food trucks, people will be less likely to come back.  If anything, people like Ron should be welcoming the food trucks and the special events for the increased foot traffic they bring. Every new customer of a food truck at lunch or at a special event is a potential future new customer of a B&M business.

Downtown is not the same nor has the same marketing needs as other areas.  If it did, if the same that worked on King Street would work Downtown, then we would not be having this discussion, Downtown would be more like King Street already.  If the status quo was going to work for Downtown, it would have already. Food trucks Downtown is a relatively new thing and it appears to be working on some level or no one would be trying to stop them.

Perhaps rather than fight this current ordinance, we should be writing our own amendment that takes some funding and creates permanent, nicely groomed places for the food trucks and then rents them out.  Maybe the parks downtown should have public facilities along side those permanent spots.  Federal dollars might be found for the creation of those facilities (based on the idea that they could be used by the homeless) with the rents from the food trucks maintaining them.  Perhaps also we could afford to put those tables and chairs back into Hemming Park.  (Maybe even with Federal funds as they could be used by the Homeless. ) Hey, if Paul Harden can write new ordinances, we should be able to as well.

Interesting points.  I would like to stress your idea, which I agree with, that it is productive to have the food trucks during most special events, simply because the current number of brick and mortars might have trouble keeping up with demand.  Not meeting demand will, as you suggest, be a put off for visitors at the special events.  However, I continue to believe that everyday presence of food trucks in the core, would be ultimately counter productive to the effort to achieve progress toward full vibrancy and infill -- the dynamics of the opinion being in my earlier posts. 

stephendare

February 26, 2014, 09:24:24 AM
You make claims... and then provide no proof... examples include...

Quote
decisions like allowing food trucks into the core affect negatively our objectives to revitalize.

and

Quote
If food trucks continue to supply food for the permanent core workers, residents, and visitors .. on a permanent basis, there will be less demand for, and therefore incentive for, the opening of new restaurants in the core.

and

Quote
Food trucks not only have little positive impact on the city core in its struggle toward sustained vibrancy, they also give false indicators of real progress toward vibrancy.  They sap business from restaurants enduring the current poor economy and the low foot traffic in the core.

well yes.  other than cold making up fantastical conclusions that don't really correlate with a provable reality, the reasonins is rock solid. ::)

DeadGirlsDontDance

February 26, 2014, 09:30:29 AM
Quote from: thelakelander link=topic=20896.msg366451#msg366451 date=1393338225
 [quote
Like, which city 'stagnated' because of food trucks?

Bingo. Good luck coming up with one city that has economically stagnated because of food trucks? 

What businesses and parks (seriously, why can't a truck be anywhere near a park?) locally are suffering specifically because of food trucks? 

This whole thing is really silly but a great example of  why Jacksonville continues to struggle with downtown and urban core revitalization.
[/quote]

I looked. No cities seem to be collapsing in flames because people can buy and eat an organic Korean bbq taco right outside their office and still have time to do some shopping or run an errand or two before they have to be back at their desk.

Food trucks are a relatively new thing, so there's not a lot of economic impact studies available yet. This study in San Francisco suggests that the food trucks are luring away fast food customers at lunch time, not people who have time to go to a real  sit-down restaurant.

http://network.intuit.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Intuit-Food-Trucks-Report.pdf

My take on the whole thing? This is crazy. I can't understand why anybody would want this legislation unless they own a restaurant with slow service, ridiculous prices or boring food. Why spend the time and money to properly train the staff or upgrade the menu when you can run the competition out of business for free?

jaxjaguar

February 26, 2014, 09:46:34 AM
I like Strider's idea of having a permanent spot for the food trucks... similar to what was done last year for One Spark (I think they called it food truck city?). Most of the bill seems too extreme though. Yes the food trucks need to be regulated and yes they can negatively impact b&m, but lets be practical.

1. Must have proper insurance.
2. Must be with-in designated areas (we have plenty of empty lots downtown)
3. Maybe this would be a good opportunity for a new (low) tax on the trucks to help fix up the facades on b&m's downtown? It would make the b&m businesses feel better about the trucks not paying rent, utilities, inspections, etc.
4. Must be "x" amount of yards from b&m (unless designated lot is closer or large event is happening)
5. Homeless program could be set up for cleaning up the designated lots in exchange for a meal
6. All fixtures must be properly fixed to the truck for safety reasons

ronchamblin

February 26, 2014, 09:52:12 AM
You make claims... and then provide no proof... examples include...

Quote
decisions like allowing food trucks into the core affect negatively our objectives to revitalize.

and

Quote
If food trucks continue to supply food for the permanent core workers, residents, and visitors .. on a permanent basis, there will be less demand for, and therefore incentive for, the opening of new restaurants in the core.

and

Quote
Food trucks not only have little positive impact on the city core in its struggle toward sustained vibrancy, they also give false indicators of real progress toward vibrancy.  They sap business from restaurants enduring the current poor economy and the low foot traffic in the core.

well yes.  other than cold making up fantastical conclusions that don't really correlate with a provable reality, the reasonins is rock solid. ::)

Quote from: thelakelander link=topic=20896.msg366451#msg366451 date=1393338225
 [quote
Like, which city 'stagnated' because of food trucks?

Bingo. Good luck coming up with one city that has economically stagnated because of food trucks? 

What businesses and parks (seriously, why can't a truck be anywhere near a park?) locally are suffering specifically because of food trucks? 

This whole thing is really silly but a great example of  why Jacksonville continues to struggle with downtown and urban core revitalization.

I looked. No cities seem to be collapsing in flames because people can buy and eat an organic Korean bbq taco right outside their office and still have time to do some shopping or run an errand or two before they have to be back at their desk.

Food trucks are a relatively new thing, so there's not a lot of economic impact studies available yet. This study in San Francisco suggests that the food trucks are luring away fast food customers at lunch time, not people who have time to go to a real  sit-down restaurant.

http://network.intuit.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Intuit-Food-Trucks-Report.pdf

My take on the whole thing? This is crazy. I can't understand why anybody would want this legislation unless they own a restaurant with slow service, ridiculous prices or boring food. Why spend the time and money to properly train the staff or upgrade the menu when you can run the competition out of business for free?
[/quote]

I'm simply suggesting that certain proper and effective decisions require sometimes subtle analysis ..... thinking that is.... about ... and forgive me.... somewhat complex components affecting realities not apparent to the causal observer who perhaps is not used to problems having more than two components within it.  I suggest that allowing a high population of food trucks into the core on a daily basis at this time of core weakness and stagnation, will perpetuate that weakness and stagnation.  The dynamics in our core are unique.   To ask me to provide evidence of a core being stagnated by the presence of food trucks is oversimplification, and only shows one's failure to perceive the critical components of the problem.  Ultimately, progress toward infill and vibrancy in the core is the issue.  Food trucks, everyday in the core, while giving the illusion of activity and vibrancy, per the dynamics explained in my earlier posts, will impede progress toward the goal of vibrancy and infill.

IrvAdams

February 26, 2014, 09:59:21 AM
Similar to a mall, where similar stores gather to attract a group of people who choose where to spend their dollars, the concept of bringing in food trucks on top of existing b&m restaurants actually increases the overall traffic for everyone. In fact, several food trucks have opened their own brick and mortar locations. Ask those people if they think other food trucks are a restrictive competition, and I'll bet their opinions will be in favor of the competition and variety.

stephendare

February 26, 2014, 10:00:21 AM
the dynamics in the core are not unique.  they are predictable and easily fixed, and the policies which hold it back have nothing to do with food trucks, which bring diversity and energy back into the downtown.

Frankly, it is this approach to downtown on the part of several of the merchants which has helped make it such a poisonous atmosphere in which to do business.

jenio

February 26, 2014, 10:03:47 AM
Your snarkiness Stephen is very unbecoming.

fieldafm

February 26, 2014, 10:17:15 AM
Quote
Food trucks not only have little positive impact on the city core in its struggle toward sustained vibrancy, they also give false indicators of real progress toward vibrancy.  They sap business from restaurants enduring the current poor economy and the low foot traffic in the core.

Sorry Ron, but it's really sad to hear that from someone who has actually experienced first hand the increased foot traffic and the resulting sales from people coming into your store that came downtown to eat at a food truck... people who had no other reason to come downtown other than visiting that food truck or attend a food truck rally.

That is very, very, very disheartening to hear.

We should probably suspend all special events in the core because they only hinder 'sustained vibrancy'.

Hopefully, next year OneSpark and Jazz Fest will be held at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center so that all those businesses downtown aren't bothered with temporarily having to suspend their quest for sustained vibrancy by actually having customers in their store.

ben says

February 26, 2014, 10:23:10 AM
Your snarkiness Stephen is very unbecoming.

 ;D

stephendare

February 26, 2014, 10:32:36 AM
Your snarkiness Stephen is very unbecoming.

I suppose that will give you something to fret about at chamblins then.  My sudden turn to snark after a lifelong avoidance of it will be quite the scandal.

ronchamblin

February 26, 2014, 10:44:25 AM
The points I attempt to convey are missed by some, and are opposed by some perhaps because of set habits of opposing most of what I say.

I see some value in having food trucks everyday in the core.  However, I also see the negative affects of the trucks which, if allowed in high number into the core on a daily basis, will be eventually shown to overcome the positives gained from having them.

This issue is an invitation for another poor decision, supported by those with limited vision ... by those failing to see the underlying negative consequences of having food trucks in the core on a daily basis.  Food trucks will provide a dynamic which will surely stabilize the downtown core in its current condition of empty buildings with no permanent population of workers and residents. 

The food trucks will however, provide fleeting visits from outsiders, much as occurs with Art Walk and One Spark. The difference is that the food trucks, by being present everyday, will ensure that survival is difficult for existing restaurants, and encourage potential entrepreneurs to open elsewhere.     

stephendare

February 26, 2014, 10:53:13 AM
The problem isnt that your points are missed, its that they dont seem to hold much water.  Each of your points have been duly addressed with actual back up evidence, and examples from numerous posters and your response has simply been to reaffirm your own speculation as a response..

It would be as though the library system had decided that the current climate for books was very 'unique' and that they had invested hundreds of millions of dollars into their edifice, which has been long standing for many many decades in one building or another downtown.

Imagine that they felt that used book stores, which are essentially the same thing as a library collection in terms of inventory were providing too much distraction from the mission of the library, which you have to admit is nobler than simply making a profit to pay off a burdensome mortgage note.

Subsequently they lobbied for new regulations that basically illegalized used book stores within a mile of the libraries.

That would certainly make things easier for them.  I have a suspicion that it would not be as good for the used book store a block from their front door.

In the end, the downtown does not belong to the Library, the downtown belongs to all of the citizens who live in Jacksonville, and everyone has a right to benefit and to aid in the success of downtown.

Unless you disagree that the library's concerns about competition would be silly, boneheaded and totally miss the point?

Apache

February 26, 2014, 10:56:55 AM
Maybe Ron is right, after 70 years, maybe a vibrant downtown core is right around the corner, don't want food trucks in there messing it up when a sustainable downtown vibrancy is so close.

thelakelander

February 26, 2014, 10:58:20 AM
the dynamics in the core are not unique.  they are predictable and easily fixed, and the policies which hold it back have nothing to do with food trucks, which bring diversity and energy back into the downtown.

Frankly, it is this approach to downtown on the part of several of the merchants which has helped make it such a poisonous atmosphere in which to do business.


They say, there's nothing new under the sun. This applies to downtown Jacksonville as well. Historically, we've made things worse by doing all we can to block a historical urban environment from organically growing naturally.

It's sad that in the 21st century, we still fear more than two black guys getting together in a town square to play a game of chess or cards, a food truck parked in a surface parking lot attracting people to an area they'd otherwise avoid, and have the urge to demolish buildings simply for the crime of being vacant (when we're responsible for killing the market).

Jax has so much potential and is home to thousands of smart passionate people who would love enhanced opportunities to make their city a better place. All we really need to do is stop tripping over our own two feet by realizing that it's not 1960 anymore.

JHAT76

February 26, 2014, 11:07:03 AM
The points I attempt to convey are missed by some, and are opposed by some perhaps because of set habits of opposing most of what I say.

I see some value in having food trucks everyday in the core.  However, I also see the negative affects of the trucks which, if allowed in high number into the core on a daily basis, will be eventually shown to overcome the positives gained from having them.

This issue is an invitation for another poor decision, supported by those with limited vision ... by those failing to see the underlying negative consequences of having food trucks in the core on a daily basis.  Food trucks will provide a dynamic which will surely stabilize the downtown core in its current condition of empty buildings with no permanent population of workers and residents. 

The food trucks will however, provide fleeting visits from outsiders, much as occurs with Art Walk and One Spark. The difference is that the food trucks, by being present everyday, will ensure that survival is difficult for existing restaurants, and encourage potential entrepreneurs to open elsewhere.     

There is a demand for eating establishments downtown.  As with most other things in our economy there are various ways for those demands to be met.  Some people like  walking to a truck, grabbing a sandwich, and walking back to the office.  Some want to call in a big office order to a bricks and mortar and go carry out.  Some people want to sit down, inside, out of the elements and talk with a lunch partner or jump on some wifi and relax.  Food trucks can't meet all these needs and price points alone.  There will always be an opportunity for bricks and mortars to succeed.  Olio seems to be doing fine even at a higher price point.  Like Stephen said.  There are demands for a variety of book stores.  Differing in price, inventory, atmosphere, etc.  Do we regulate what kind of stores we let downtown?

Additionally, you say a fleet of trucks.  Realistically how much demand is there from food from a truck on a daily basis?  There is a point where if this fleet gets too large they start losing money and close shop.  Let the market work. 

thelakelander

February 26, 2014, 11:14:20 AM
I looked. No cities seem to be collapsing in flames because people can buy and eat an organic Korean bbq taco right outside their office and still have time to do some shopping or run an errand or two before they have to be back at their desk.

Food trucks are a relatively new thing, so there's not a lot of economic impact studies available yet. This study in San Francisco suggests that the food trucks are luring away fast food customers at lunch time, not people who have time to go to a real  sit-down restaurant.

http://network.intuit.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Intuit-Food-Trucks-Report.pdf

They've been around for a while. They are just new to Jax because we are about 15 years behind most similar sized communities in the country.  Anyone who is really fearful of the negative consequences of this industry should do some research on Portland. That city has actually embraced the culture and appears to be economically benefiting from it. A few bits from a 2010 article:

Quote
Less than a decade ago, a Portlander who frequented one semi-sanitary burrito truck could smugly feel like an urban insider. Today, Multnomah County licenses more than 300 food carts. Within 100 yards of Addy’s alone, pavement gourmands can savor Korean tacos, first-class espresso, and walloping Bosnian pitas. A half-dozen gyro options jostle with a week’s worth of banh mi choices. Cult-favorite pork yakisoba competes with single-dish purveyors of Bangkok street delicacies. One newcomer promises "anything you can stuff in a dumpling."

No one planned Portland’s cart revolution. In a city that tends to workshop and white-paper every last particle of its existence, "the carts" are a rare local instance of Taoist urbanism. And in the process of letting them happen, the city stumbled upon a form of kudzu capitalism—powered by propane tanks and makeshift wiring—that reclaims and revitalizes vacant land. Portland’s food-cart phenomenon couples the city’s obsession with gastronomy and a dirty-fingernailed, DIY brand of free enterprise. It’s the perfect combination for the dynamic talent this city attracts, and for our gloomy economic times.

Quote
Back in the 1970s, faced with a dying downtown, Portland declared that all center-city construction had to include ground-floor retail. It was a good idea, and one that injected new energy into our streets. But as the recession has filled many a city code–commanded storefront window with "FOR LEASE" signs, it’s the once-barren—and oft-ridiculed—surface parking lots that have begun pulsing with urban life in the form of food carts.

"The carts’ success downtown has people thinking of these sorts of structures as an interim form of development that can create a destination," says Marcy McInelly, an associate principal at Sera Architects. "Traditional restaurants do that, but it takes a long time. Carts can do it very quickly."

City Center Parking, a firm owned partly by the powerful Goodman family, rules acres of downtown asphalt. For decades, many mourned the Goodmans’ reluctance to develop their lots into the sort of high-density, mixed-use new buildings that long ago became urban-planning gospel. Now, economic conditions strongly suggest that new downtown high-rises won’t be popping up anytime soon. Meanwhile, City Center has decided—call it enlightened self-interest—to allow carts to breed on its lots.

"It started with one, basically," says Al Niknabard, City Center’s director of operations. "Then it was two. Then four. And it seemed like the more we added, the better they all did." Niknabard declines to even estimate how many carts now occupy the edges of City Center’s lots. "We hardly ever have cancellations. It will go as far as classical capitalism will let it."

Quote
McInelly, for one, sees some potential in strategic cart deployment. She and her firm drafted a "best practices" menu for Portland’s transportation office that suggested using food carts to spruce up the East Side’s dour MAX stations. "It’s a way to create a ‘there’ there," she says. "You could potentially use carts at transit stations, or in the Lloyd District—anywhere you want to foster some vitality."

So perhaps advancing the cart revolution requires nothing more than matchmaking. Desperate property owner? Meet moneymaking opportunity. On N Mississippi Avenue, developer Roger Goldingay faced recessionary doom on a vacant lot he bought at the height of the real estate boom. Carts proved his salvation—today, his Mississippi Marketplace knits together 10 high-quality carts with customized water and power grids, all atop eco-friendly, rainwater-permeable asphalt (see "Pod Perfection").

"I think you can say we saved a developer—me—and a contractor, and probably two marriages," Goldingay tells me. "We started 10 small businesses and created 40 or 50 jobs."

And therein, perhaps, lies the true genius and potential of Portland’s carts. In these woozy, hungover years after our binge on fake credit and ersatz profits, food carts bring American business down to earth. On vacant lots and unloved parking strips in Portland, tiny operations demonstrate a different way for free enterprise to take root, grow, and change a city’s streets and tastes.

Full article: http://www.portlandmonthlymag.com/eat-and-drink/food-cart-city/articles/food-carts-0910

Even when it comes to discussing regulations, the approach is different:

Quote
Portland officials are trying to find ways to improve the city’s food truck ordinance and procedural rules, and they’ve asked food truck owners for their input before any actual proposals are sent to the city council.

In a letter to all the interested parties, city manager Mark Rees cited  the  concerns highlighted in the Portland Press Herald’s May 8 Food & Dining  section (in which food truck operators expressed frustration with some of the rules and regulations that made it more difficult for them to operate in the city), along with direct feedback from truck owners and the public.

Among the options being considered are rule changes that would allow clustering of food trucks in the city, and an end to a controversial fee the trucks were being asked to pay when they park on private property.

Full article: http://www.pressherald.com/blogs/mainealacarte/218018651.html

thelakelander

February 26, 2014, 11:19:15 AM
Additionally, you say a fleet of trucks.  Realistically how much demand is there from food from a truck on a daily basis?  There is a point where if this fleet gets too large they start losing money and close shop.  Let the market work.

Where does this fleet congregate? I'm hungry.  Any place like this typical mid day scene in DC?



I work downtown.  I'm familiar with the location of a few trucks spread out over a two mile area but other than rallies, I've never seen decent numbers pulled up in a single spot, like you'll find in most downtowns with life.

tufsu1

February 26, 2014, 11:21:43 AM
I see some value in having food trucks everyday in the core.  However, I also see the negative affects of the trucks which, if allowed in high number into the core on a daily basis, will be eventually shown to overcome the positives gained from having them.

the solution to that is fairly simple. 

Allow a specified number of licensed vendors in specific (semi-permanent) public locations....and then allow additional trucks at special events (monthly rallies, festivals, etc.)....but legislating them off private property is another thing entirely.

JHAT76

February 26, 2014, 11:27:02 AM
Additionally, you say a fleet of trucks.  Realistically how much demand is there from food from a truck on a daily basis?  There is a point where if this fleet gets too large they start losing money and close shop.  Let the market work.

Where does this fleet congregate? I'm hungry.  Any place like this typical mid day scene in DC?



I work downtown.  I'm familiar with the location of a few trucks spread out over a two mile area but other than rallies, I've never seen decent numbers pulled up in a single spot, like you'll find in most downtowns with life.

 I should clarify my fleets statement.  I was definitely talking demand in Jax where the trucks are spread out.

As I look out my window toward the Northwest from my office I see the desolation that is LaVilla.  Food trucks in this amount would be a welcome change from the weedy surface lots.  Here we are on a rainy, blah day outside.  No food truck in sight, yet which brick and mortar has come in to fill that need?  Who is serving the courthouse crowd on these days?  There have been a few open, but I think laying the blame on threats of food trucks rather than all the other core "issues" is a bit of a stretch.

thelakelander

February 26, 2014, 11:32:23 AM
^I agree.

fieldafm

February 26, 2014, 11:34:43 AM
Quote
The difference is that the food trucks, by being present everyday, will ensure that survival is difficult for existing restaurants, and encourage potential entrepreneurs to open elsewhere.     

Food trucks aren't scaring away new businesses to the core. The fact that I can open a restaurant in Five Points (where there is life) for less money than I can Downtown (where there is little life) is what's encouraging potential entreprenuers to open elsewhere.

thelakelander

February 26, 2014, 11:47:50 AM
An article in today's Jax Daily Record explains CM Brown's point of view about food trucks:

Quote
“I’m not against food trucks. I’m pro food trucks,” Brown said. “I’m a patron of several of the food trucks we have Downtown.”

Some Downtown restaurant owners have told Brown they felt the food trucks diverted business from them. Brown said until Downtown foot traffic picks up, there may not be enough business for everyone.

“We cannot afford for folks like Quiznos and The Brick leave Downtown, and we can’t give them free rent,” he said. “We’ve got to find some way to not discourage the folks that are trying to hold on until Downtown becomes vibrant.

“I think the food trucks can coexist,” Brown added, “but we need to create some distance between them.”


He said the city already has rules for food vendors, but food trucks are not clearly defined and neither are the guidelines that govern their operation.

Brown said he wanted better clarification after seeing one

business sell food out of a single axle trailer without a city

license.

full article: http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=542333

JeffreyS

February 26, 2014, 11:48:26 AM
Quote
The difference is that the food trucks, by being present everyday, will ensure that survival is difficult for existing restaurants, and encourage potential entrepreneurs to open elsewhere.     

Food trucks aren't scaring away new businesses to the core. The fact that I can open a restaurant in Five Points (where there is life) for less money than I can Downtown (where there is little life) is what's encouraging potential entreprenuers to open elsewhere.
Dead on target, field. +1

fieldafm

February 26, 2014, 11:51:00 AM
Quote
Brown said he wanted better clarification after seeing one business sell food out of a single axle trailer without a city license.

That is such smoke and mirrors.

If someone is vending food without the proper licenses (and there are several), then enforce the rules already on the books... don't make new laws under the guise of 'consumer protection' that in reality are designed to drive out competition.

BridgeTroll

February 26, 2014, 11:52:14 AM
An article in today's Jax Daily Record explains CM Brown's point of view about food trucks:

Quote
“I’m not against food trucks. I’m pro food trucks,” Brown said. “I’m a patron of several of the food trucks we have Downtown.”

Some Downtown restaurant owners have told Brown they felt the food trucks diverted business from them. Brown said until Downtown foot traffic picks up, there may not be enough business for everyone.

“We cannot afford for folks like Quiznos and The Brick leave Downtown, and we can’t give them free rent,” he said. “We’ve got to find some way to not discourage the folks that are trying to hold on until Downtown becomes vibrant.

“I think the food trucks can coexist,” Brown added, “but we need to create some distance between them.”


He said the city already has rules for food vendors, but food trucks are not clearly defined and neither are the guidelines that govern their operation.

Brown said he wanted better clarification after seeing one

business sell food out of a single axle trailer without a city

license.

full article: http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=542333

He's try to protect Quizno's??  Is The Brick downtown?  Burrito gallery does not seem to oppose the trucks.  Who are the other businesses who oppose the trucks?

thelakelander

February 26, 2014, 12:01:56 PM
The Brick is the little coffeehouse in the Ed Ball Building. If Quizno's is struggling, it's not because of a random food truck. I'm not sure COJ can do anything to save the Quizno's chain. That's a product issue.  There are simply too many better and cheaper options in the marketplace than the expensive ham sandwiches they serve.  I've only been to Quinzo's twice in the years I've worked downtown. One time someone else paid for it and the other time, I had a coupon to get a sandwich for free. Saving Quinzo's is like attempting to ban  motorized vehicles to preserve the horse carriage industry.

As for the Brick, the average person who doesn't go inside the Ed Ball Building would never know they exist. Product aside (you can get coffee anywhere these days), a facade enhancement featuring an outdoor entrance, better signage, etc. would do wonders for them.

IrvAdams

February 26, 2014, 12:22:17 PM
Mr. Brown has input from downtown b&m establishments, but where is his input from food truck owner/operators? They are private taxpaying citizens also, and their opinions about regulation and competition are important too.

At the very least the food truck owners have a right to be heard, and to be heard before legislation is written up and distributed publicly.

BridgeTroll

February 26, 2014, 12:23:09 PM
The Brick is the little coffeehouse in the Ed Ball Building. If Quizno's is struggling, it's not because of a random food truck. I'm not sure COJ can do anything to save the Quizno's chain. That's a product issue.  There are simply too many better and cheaper options in the marketplace than the expensive ham sandwiches they serve.  I've only been to Quinzo's twice in the years I've worked downtown. One time someone else paid for it and the other time, I had a coupon to get a sandwich for free. Saving Quinzo's is like attempting to ban  motorized vehicles to preserve the horse carriage industry.

As for the Brick, the average person who doesn't go instead the Ed Ball Building would never know they exist. Product aside (you can get coffee anywhere these days), a facade enhancement featuring an outdoor entrance, better signage, etc. would do wonders for them.

My thoughts exactly....

FSBA

February 26, 2014, 12:34:44 PM
Hasn't the owner of the downtown Quizno's been a pretty vocal opponent of the food trucks since Day 1?

Also...
Quote
Brown said he wanted better clarification after seeing one business sell food out of a single axle trailer without a city license.

Tacachale

February 26, 2014, 12:43:09 PM
Quote
The difference is that the food trucks, by being present everyday, will ensure that survival is difficult for existing restaurants, and encourage potential entrepreneurs to open elsewhere.     

Food trucks aren't scaring away new businesses to the core. The fact that I can open a restaurant in Five Points (where there is life) for less money than I can Downtown (where there is little life) is what's encouraging potential entreprenuers to open elsewhere.

+1. If we're really worried about bringing life to downtown, there are dozens of things we can fix besides trying to obliterate one of the things that does bring life to downtown.

Josh

February 26, 2014, 12:44:11 PM
Hasn't the owner of the downtown Quizno's been a pretty vocal opponent of the food trucks since Day 1?

Yup, that's her.

Personally, I've never gone back since one time I went there and told her at checkout I ordered a large sub, but she rang it up as a medium and made a huge stink about her hearing me say something other than what I actually did when a large sub came out of the toaster. That's right lady, you caught me.....

pierre

February 26, 2014, 01:19:58 PM
I have to say I am pretty impressed by the reaction online and around town to this story.

mtraininjax

February 26, 2014, 01:29:22 PM
Quote
Your snarkiness Stephen is very unbecoming.

He's just getting warmed up, get him going on I'm with Alvin!


I see the food trucks in NYC all along the East side of Union Square. There are events in Union Square that feature people selling items, like an ETSY display. Meanwhile the big box stores are all around the square and somehow, just somehow, they survive.

How are the hot vendors going to survive the food trucks? OMG?

The fear of existing owners is that they do not realize that MORE people eating downtown creates a bigger pie for everyone. Forget what you are doing today, you can expand that by x% over the next year and it is because of more people coming downtown. The lack of vision in our great town is staggering at times.

ben says

February 26, 2014, 01:48:37 PM
Leadership in this city blows. Someone help propel me into office.

Dog Walker

February 26, 2014, 02:10:43 PM
Every time I've been in the Ed Ball Building it looks like the Brick is doing just fine.  I've just had their coffee which is better than most.

I'm sure it's the hotdog guy across from Greyhound that is hurting Quizno's business.  Better food and service.

DeadGirlsDontDance

February 26, 2014, 02:40:52 PM
Liveblogging the Council Meeting!
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php/topic,20910.0.html

obsidian

February 26, 2014, 06:05:13 PM
I have a rough draft of an interactive map showing the permitted and restricted areas for food trucks at the link below.  This is just the first effort and only used the area restrictions in the ordinance.  I hope to refine it with the other point data, depending on availability.  I’ve included “commercial” zoning but there are a number of zoning classes that I’m uncertain about, so any help on this is appreciated.

http://courtdocmaps.com/communitymaps.html

DeadGirlsDontDance

February 26, 2014, 06:21:05 PM
I have a rough draft of an interactive map showing the permitted and restricted areas for food trucks at the link below.  This is just the first effort and only used the area restrictions in the ordinance.  I hope to refine it with the other point data, depending on availability.  I’ve included “commercial” zoning but there are a number of zoning classes that I’m uncertain about, so any help on this is appreciated.

http://courtdocmaps.com/communitymaps.html

So, food trucks can operate at Craig Field, NAS Jax, Timucuan Preserve, and in the river. Nice.

Charles Hunter

February 26, 2014, 06:24:14 PM
Great map.
What is the distance from a park?  Are the riverwalks "parks"?

obsidian

February 26, 2014, 06:27:02 PM
Take a look at the Permitted map, it narrows the possibilities a bit.

obsidian

February 26, 2014, 06:28:46 PM
Thanks Charles Hunter.  I used a 500 foot buffer for parks, residential and cn zoning.

obsidian

February 26, 2014, 06:37:16 PM
Re: Riverwalks, that is one of the areas where I hoped one of the planners would be able to clear up.  Additionally some of the pocket park are not buffered because my dataset does not show them as such for property use.  So a lot of work yet to be done for a complete map.

thelakelander

February 26, 2014, 08:43:17 PM
Great map. I was considering making one myself, but you've already done it.  I think most of downtown would be excluded once everything that's considered a public park or plaza has a 500' buffer.

obsidian

February 26, 2014, 09:06:27 PM
Thanks Lake.  I agree, I've been manually selecting the DT parks to be added later.  Of course there is the 300' B&M buffers to be added.  If I can locate layers on curbs and sidewalks, that will reduce it even more.  Any suggestion on how CRO, PBFs, etc. should be handed?

fieldafm

February 27, 2014, 10:40:36 AM
Awesome map obsidian!!!

The more I think about it, if Subway goes out of business b/c of all that unfair, soul-crushing competition from food trucks.... I'd personally jump all over that space.

thelakelander

February 27, 2014, 11:29:39 AM
Thanks Lake.  I agree, I've been manually selecting the DT parks to be added later.  Of course there is the 300' B&M buffers to be added.  If I can locate layers on curbs and sidewalks, that will reduce it even more.  Any suggestion on how CRO, PBFs, etc. should be handed?

I have a citywide sidewalks shapefile I could send you later today if you need one.  I'll need to go through the legislation again to see how to best address CRO, etc.

obsidian

February 27, 2014, 12:08:24 PM
Thanks Lake.  I agree, I've been manually selecting the DT parks to be added later.  Of course there is the 300' B&M buffers to be added.  If I can locate layers on curbs and sidewalks, that will reduce it even more.  Any suggestion on how CRO, PBFs, etc. should be handed?

I have a citywide sidewalks shapefile I could send you later today if you need one.  I'll need to go through the legislation again to see how to best address CRO, etc.

Appreciate the offer Lake, but I just got a copy this morning.  I hope they consider using land use categories for future version of the ordinance...that would simplify mapping.

obsidian

February 27, 2014, 12:39:07 PM
Awesome map obsidian!!!

The more I think about it, if Subway goes out of business b/c of all that unfair, soul-crushing competition from food trucks.... I'd personally jump all over that space.



Thanks, btw adding the B&Ms will reduce the area available even more so.  I also have a dataset of over 3k restaurants that will have to be buffered 300'.

thelakelander

February 27, 2014, 12:47:55 PM
I can't wait to see your results.  I'm pretty sure, as written, food trucks would be prohibited from operating in most of the city.

Overstreet

February 27, 2014, 04:10:37 PM
I can see the fixed location resturants point of view. However, I go back by the deli's I used to eat at a year ago, two years ago, etc,  downtown and they are gone .............without food truck competition. Its not likely going to matter.

Even farther back, The Landing is now a shadow of what it was when it opened.  Back then it killed all the businesses on Heming plaza. For example, JP Mugs......made a great burger, but their lunch crowd dissappeared when the Landing opened........and so did JP Mugs. 

I used to visit food trucks in Hawaii all the time because they brought food to places that didn't have it. When we built the Landing we went to the food trucks because they were off site, close and brough food to an area that didn't have it.........in the time window we had for lunch.

I look at them differently. It is competition. They preform a service. Let them be. But I got to tell 'em when I say no they can't operate on the job site, stay out. If they whine to my boss the rejection will only get worse. If you block my site entrance it will only go downhill from there. At that point they are no longer a service, but a hinderance.

thelakelander

February 27, 2014, 04:37:13 PM
From what I heard yesterday, the downtown restaurant owners didn't want them in downtown period.  Looking at how one-sided the legislation was written, this appears to be a larger attempt to limit the growth of this industry in Jacksonville.  It seems that some don't want them catering special events or setting up in suburban office parking lots either. I'll be real interested to see how this all turns out.  Legislation should facilitate market rate growth and not go against it.  However, I'm sure those lobbying for this aren't trying to facilitate the growth of food trucks locally.

CityLife

February 27, 2014, 04:37:48 PM
Obsidian is bringing it. Those maps are excellent.

I'm very much looking forward to the first food truck rally at Talleyrand.

I-10east

February 27, 2014, 05:49:35 PM
^^^Yup, the exact same issues; The city approves the unfriendly food truck ordinance, and there's a major opposition against it. It's definitely not exclusive to Jax. 

thelakelander

February 27, 2014, 06:55:00 PM
There's nothing wrong with regulations. The problem arises when they are put in place to kill an industry due to the lobbying of another "entrenched" group who fears market rate competition.  What you're seeing now in Jax is that the public is getting to the point of not accepting the status quo and fighting back.  Jax will be a better place because of the push back.

Tacachale

February 27, 2014, 07:24:46 PM
^Well put.

stephendare

February 27, 2014, 07:49:09 PM
apparently the proposed regulations to ban where food trucks can go are exactly the same kinds of bans that are imposed on sex offenders.

Except tougher.

thelakelander

February 27, 2014, 10:43:46 PM
Interesting comparison but unfortunately true.

thelakelander

February 27, 2014, 11:59:16 PM
Nothing food trucks and Jacksonville can do about this one....

Quote
Quiznos, the Denver-based sandwich-shop chain that has been grappling with debt, is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection soon and is working on a prepackaged restructuring, the Wall Street Journal reported online Thursday.

http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2014/02/27/wsj-quiznos-set-to-file-for.html

Brian Siebenschuh

February 28, 2014, 02:42:39 AM
Wouldn't it be easier for all the suffering non-mobile downtown sandwich shops to just ditch their leases and start up super cheap new food truck operations?

fieldafm

February 28, 2014, 08:22:08 AM
Wouldn't it be easier for all the suffering non-mobile downtown sandwich shops to just ditch their leases and start up super cheap new food truck operations?

Why do that when you can just hire a lobbyist and regulate your competition out of existance?

IrvAdams

February 28, 2014, 09:07:48 AM
I can see it now...Hemming Park ringed with colorful food trucks at lunchtime. Think of the variety! Picture all the patrons, free to choose  from a wide selection of food. Enjoying the beautiful Jacksonville sunshine on a gorgeous spring day.

Oops...it's Hemming Park. They removed all the benches and chairs? Guess I'll have to eat standing up...

Shine

February 28, 2014, 10:56:34 AM
To some extent, more of a product category in one place tends to stimulate consumption of those products – concept called “industry demand.”

 How many retail clothing stores are at Town Center?  While they are competitors, the location becomes a known and desired market place for that retail experience.  On the same note, food trucks and other entertainment options downtown may not be a competitive problem, but part of stimulating the area further as an entertainment destination.   The problem with DT is it has lost its self-sustainability regarding population and consumption.  Increasing these things may be the catalyst that brings it back to a self-sustainable critical mass.  And as for the bill, this has been the best promotion of food trucks that you could ask for – a solid week of coverage – and, I am getting hungrier every time I hear it!

Noone

February 28, 2014, 11:23:32 AM
The Food Truck Cartel

obsidian

February 28, 2014, 11:37:24 AM
I’ve posted a new map showing the streets that at least partially comply with provision of the draft ordinance.  My restaurant data only geocoded at 50% so there’s a lot of restaurants remaining to reduce the possibilities.  Site inspection is required to determine how suitable the streets are for food trucks in relation to the other restrictions in the ordinance, but at least it give a starting frame of reference.

FYI, here is the metadata for the map: Layer displays streets that meet partial requirements as outlined in a draft proposed ordinance, Jacksonville, FL.  The streets comply with Sec. 250.117(e), being located greater than 500 feet from single family residential dwellings; being located greater than 500 feet from residentially zoned neighborhoods, commercially zoned neighborhoods (CN) or residential subdivisions.

The streets partially comply with Sec. 250.1201(b), being located within commercial or industrial zoning.

The streets partially comply with Sec. 250.1201(d)(1), having a sidewalk.

The streets comply with Sec. 250.1201(d)(9), being greater than 300 feet from the property line of single family residential dwellings and restaurants.

Other measurement restrictions of the ordinance require site inspection to determine compliance.

http://courtdocmaps.com/communitymaps.html

IrvAdams

February 28, 2014, 01:21:00 PM
^^That's an interesting app, a very useful tool. Thanks for the input. I assume as parameters are adjusted, you can alter and redraw it without much work? Is this an expensive program?

obsidian

February 28, 2014, 02:27:57 PM
^^That's an interesting app, a very useful tool. Thanks for the input. I assume as parameters are adjusted, you can alter and redraw it without much work? Is this an expensive program?

In this instance, there is quite a bit of work that preceded the street map.  Some changes would require starting over, for example if the 300 foot distance from single family residential property lines is used in lieu of 500’ or for b&m measurement the front door is used rather than the property line.  Adjusting the street map for bus stops, fire hydrants, etc. is less complicated.  Adjusting for curb cuts, crosswalks and the like would be very difficult as those changes would require manually editing each street segment.

The online map is a web extension of a desktop GIS system I use.  Most of the work required for the maps was done at the desktop level.  GIS software generally is on the expensive side as it is professional level software, but the biggest challenge is learning how to fully use it.

Samk11

February 28, 2014, 05:58:18 PM
I would hate to see the b & m go out of business. I enjoy spending my lunch break relaxing with co workers inside an established restaurants. The Quiznos has been there so many years and the owner is nice and friendly. It would suck if Jacksonville lost one of their last Quiznos as many of them have shut down. Firehouse subs shut down. Subway seems to be steady. Pita Pit is the new one that just opened. There are a lot of good independent restaurants in downtown that need support seeing how our downtown is not as vibrant as other cities. Even the landing is dead 

thelakelander

February 28, 2014, 06:42:37 PM
Food trucks have the ability to generate extra foot traffic to help existing B&Ms. Many grow into new B&Ms themselves. Hell, looking at the timeline of the DIA's plan, we'll need trucks and everything else down there if we want to see major improvement this decade. As for Quiznos, the entire chain is dying. Trucks or not, don't put money on it surviving long term.

ronchamblin

March 01, 2014, 04:12:52 AM
 
The discussion about the food trucks causes me to offer more clarity as to my position.  For example, there is the questions of “food trucks in Jacksonville”, and “food trucks in the city core”.  I intended to convey that I approved of food trucks “outside of the city core”, but that we should be concerned about having lots of food trucks in the “city core”.

About being “unique”, my intention was that the “city core” was unique, having special problems, concerns, and solutions, but that Jacksonville “was not unique”, especially regarding the presence of food trucks within it.

Therefore ... food trucks in Jacksonville gets a big “yes” from me, which is what I intended.  However, food trucks (unrestrained) in the city core .. well, we should be cautious, as it might not be the best thing for long term efforts to revitalize.   

My wish to restrict food trucks in the “city core” is not all about a fear of competition, as some like to suggest.  I love  competition.  It increases one’s energy, makes the game more interesting, and ultimately improves profits and business strength.  If it was only me .... bring on the bookmobiles and food trucks.  Competition causes one to fear ..... to look critically upon oneself and one’s business, and then to remove cause for fear by improving, by whatever means.

So, one might ask ...why anyone would vote yes to food trucks in areas “outside” of the city core, but vote to restrict food trucks “in” the city core.

I, and others, have looked upon the revitalization effort of the “city core” as a distinct problem.  Most problems are structured so that there are fundamental causes ...  and other causes, less fundamental, but attached to the problem nevertheless.

First of all, whereas many are arguing for “food trucks in the core”, I am focusing on and arguing for, “real progress in revitalizing the city core”.  So the question might be “What does having food trucks in the city core have to do with achieving the goal of self-sustained vibrancy and infill?”

Clarification!!  I support having food trucks in the city core during special events, even if it is a food truck rally, as this makes good sense.  The B & M places simply cannot keep up with the demand.  Those who attend the events demand good and quick service.

If having food trucks in the core on a daily basis ultimately promotes core revitalization and infill, then I would say ... go for it.  If we were to compare Art Walk, the Jazz Festival, Football Games, One Spark, and Food Trucks, we would find that all have something in common.  They all bring people into the city core for varying periods, but none of these do anything substantial regarding gains in building infill, permanent leases, building purchases and renovations, new business, or new residents into the core.  Look at recent decades. 

Those who somehow give import to the statement that “current restaurant owners opening in Riverside etc.. were at one time food truck operations” .. I say wonderful for them ... but... so?.  These fellows have taken the easy route by opening a B & M in an already vibrant outlying area.  Why not do something hard .. challenging?  I cannot be overly impressed until these food truck heroes open a B & M in the city core.   

Although Art Walk, Jazz Festival ... even food trucks on a daily basis in the core... have somewhat positive impacts on the city core ... nothing of import happens regarding the goal of achieving genuine and sustained vibrancy and infill until somebody .. anybody... food truck operators or not ... opens B & M establishments in the city core. 

Those who wish to invade the city core on a daily basis with food trucks are going to kill struggling B & M ... not mine however, as we are less vulnerable, having a bookstore/cafe combo.

Okay... let’s say that we get the food trucks into the core in large quantity, the food truck invasion.  This will not only cause some core restaurants to fail .. but it will make it undesirable for new B & M to open in the core.

The point is that the “killing off” of existing B & M would be fine “IF” these brave food truck operators would “Open” a B & M in the core.  The objective is not to support any existing B & M operations in the core by preventing competition.  Let them fail if mediocrity exists.  But if anyone, such as the food truck operators, invade and kill, then they should “replace” what they’ve killed by opening up a B & M.

And this gets to another concern about the food trucks.  We could, if we are not careful, end up with a population of food trucks in the core, and very few B & M operations.  If we allow this to happen, we have failed again regarding progress toward vibrancy and infill.  Keep the trucks out of the core .... let these truck fellows learn their business outside the core, and then, those who feel they have the ability and stamina (as with Jerry Moran of La Cena and me) ;D ... those who are brave, let them open a B & M in the core.

The second part of my concern is that ... any system .... effort..... area .....city.... budget.....  project .. has a limited amount of energy to achieve its objectives.  Wasting energy in directions not directly related to achieving solid progress toward the important goal .... inclines to  stagnation ... and a failure to achieve the goal.  Applying paint to a weakened structure, hoping to somehow save it, when attention to the fundamental structure is needed, is wasteful, and will ensure the failure of it. 

Art Walk, the Jazz Festival, One Spark, and the food trucks etc , although positives and much needed.. are paint on a weakened structure.  To relax in any way ... to give excessive credence over the years to these temporary draws, is to ignore the things that must be done to achieve real vibrancy and infill.  Food trucks on a daily basis in the core will only give additional appearance of a “false vibrancy”, will allow some to relax with the feeling that we are increasing vibrancy, and will ultimately kill some of the B & M establishments struggling in the core.

Again ... its okay to kill existing B & M establishments with food truck invasions.... you can molotov them..... attack with drones ....  burn them to the ground if you want.  But in the end, if we are to achieve our goal of vibrancy and infill, we must get these brave food truck fellows, once they’ve gained confidence in business, to get out of the food trucks, and into a B & M location in the core ... at the rate of at least 1.5 new B & M’s for every existing one killed by the invasion, molotov’s, or drones.  Increase the rate of replacement to 2.0, and we will have infill before you know it. 

Otherwise, we will end up with the first city core having nothing but an army of food trucks which must truck in every morning and lunch to feed the stagnant population.   

Apache

March 01, 2014, 06:01:23 AM
^ sounds familiar. Should we be looking for a newly formed LLC? Maybe something like "We Love the City Core"?

thelakelander

March 01, 2014, 06:52:26 AM
How many B&Ms have closed in the core (specifically downtown) because of food trucks? My guess is none. With that said, I'm not a food truck operater but I am not in favor of limiting trucks in downtown.  If anything, we need more because of the vitality, excitement and foot traffic they bring. However, I do understand the concern of an existing B&M having a truck basically pull up and serve people right in front of their front door. Instead of limiting, how about we actually designate spots where multiple trucks can set up and serve?

As for the struggling B&Ms, we shouldn't blame their struggles on trucks.  There's a whole bunch of other issues that need to be addressed, some unique to each individual business. These range from having an inferior product to limited visibility from the street and locations with a declining surrounding office worker population. Attacking and prohibiting the growth of the food truck industry isn't going to resolve their ultimate issues.

strider

March 01, 2014, 08:08:24 AM
While I have never had a business in Jacksonville's Downtown core, I did have one on the fringe, Main Street in Springfield.  I would guess the issues we faced are very similar to being in the Downtown core.  The streets are for moving traffic past, the public transportation is iffy at best and there was nothing around to bring in the foot traffic one needs to succeed.  No amount of advertising changes the issues.  You can get people excited and get them to come look once, but unless you are offering something unique, something they can't find closer to home or easier to get to, they visit once, may return if they are looking for that special something they can't find anywhere else or just happen to be around. A lot of our customers were waiting for the bus.  Once the bus route got changes, we said goodbye to 25% of our business. 

While that may be a great advertisement for the importance of fixed rail transportation, it is also one that says foot traffic is king.

I personally drive downtown about once a week for professional reasons.  I don't stop to eat because I am worried about parking and time.  I go back downtown on my time for two places.  Chamblins and Diversions.  Chamblins because it offers something unique and it the easiest and best store of it's type to get to for me and Diversions because I had to park and walk past it to get to Chamblins.  If there had been easy parking in front of Chamblins, I never would go to Diversions.  Foot traffic.

Food trucks, and I do not think anyone here is advocating putting one every 100 feet or some such thing, will bring increased foot traffic.  In fact, if they hurt any of the B&M restaurants, it will be the ones on the fringes because less people will get into their cars and drive to lunch.  That should be exactly what everyone with any kind of retail business wants Downtown, foot traffic.  A reason for people to not get in their cars and drive but to walk somewhere. If the B&M restaurants could achieve that Downtown they would have done so already.  But for many reasons, they haven't nor will they alone.  Food trucks may in the short term hurt the B&M restaurants because of competition, but as they will promote other businesses, even the restaurants will see benefits in the future.  Even for that to work, there has to be evening hours as B&M restaurants that cater to the lunch crowd do little for other retail businesses. They take all of the lunch persons time for eating and leave nothing for anyone else. Food trucks can be more Hit and Run and give more leisure time to see what's there.

Just my opinion, of course, but it seems that the choice is stagnation like we have had for years or try something new that might stimulate more of the types of businesses we need to make Downtown more sustainable for everyone, not just the lunch crowd.

ronchamblin

March 01, 2014, 08:38:45 AM
^ sounds familiar. Should we be looking for a newly formed LLC? Maybe something like "We Love the City Core"?


Actually .. good points Lake and Strider.  I will address them later, as I have to open up at Rosy. 

But, as for the above ... I am making the perhaps careless assumption that most people commenting wish ultimately for a vibrant and "full" downtown.  If that is not the goal, then this conversation is not very important.

The goal of revitalization is where true leadership from a mayor comes into play.  Without it, little will happen.  Once a mayor sets as his objective, that of "forcing" a reasonable level of movement toward a vibrant downtown because it is best for all citizens in the county, then he will have before him, the difficult task of educating others to this opinion.

This education does not involve politicking.  It involves an explanation of the fundamental dynamics of "why" vibrancy and infill benefits all citizens.  The education should be directed to all citizens, "and" to the city council members.  Once more of the city council members see the light, if one of sufficient brightness is created by the mayor, he will not only have allies to his purpose, but he will have, through the process of education, clear documentation as to "why" the focus of tax revenues, and the focus and energy of all citizens, should invest in "forcing" revitalization and infill.

Our stagnation over the years regarding the city core, which has allowed the shameful partial desolation to remain as it is, begins with the fact that there has been no vision from a mayor, and thus no leadership, and thus no education to the goal.  No vision + no leader = no education = no support = no action and poor decisions = continued mediocrity and meandering = no vibrancy and infill = stagnation.

Throughout the county, everyone, including the city council members representing the various areas, have their agenda, which for the most part, is to represent the local interests of their constituents.  As long as the council members and their constituents remain convinced that it is okay for the city core to remain mostly desolate, as it has for decades, very little progress is to be made.  Only education, beginning with a visionary and strong mayor can begin the process of education.

Mr. Mayor?




stephendare

March 01, 2014, 09:15:14 AM
meh.  sounds like a merry band for lynching other small businesses.

Don't see how thats going to improve the city core.

Why not try doing something about all the one ways.  That would be a lot more useful.

urbanlibertarian

March 02, 2014, 11:09:48 AM
The collective vision of entrepreneurs and NGO's will take DT a lot farther faster than COJ vision.  If the mayor's vision were to get COJ out of the way of small scale development that might actually make a difference.

urbanlibertarian

March 02, 2014, 11:18:20 AM
I hate to see any DT business fail but food trucks are giving consumers options they didn't have before and they are responding positively.  It's a change in the dining out marketplace.  B&M's must adapt or fail.  Resistance is futile (you know, unless government steps in to limit consumer choices but that will just prolong the inevitable).

Jaxson

March 02, 2014, 01:52:58 PM
How many B&Ms have closed in the core (specifically downtown) because of food trucks? My guess is none. With that said, I'm not a food truck operater but I am not in favor of limiting trucks in downtown.  If anything, we need more because of the vitality, excitement and foot traffic they bring. However, I do understand the concern of an existing B&M having a truck basically pull up and serve people right in front of their front door. Instead of limiting, how about we actually designate spots where multiple trucks can set up and serve?

As for the struggling B&Ms, we shouldn't blame their struggles on trucks.  There's a whole bunch of other issues that need to be addressed, some unique to each individual business. These range from having an inferior product to limited visibility from the street and locations with a declining surrounding office worker population. Attacking and prohibiting the growth of the food truck industry isn't going to resolve their ultimate issues.

I find it curious that we consider ourselves a 'free market' but do not mind placing restrictions when we believe that our ox is being gored.  I agree that we have brick and mortar businesses that may be needlessly scapegoating the food truck business for problems that are not related to the food trucks...

Charles Hunter

March 02, 2014, 02:14:05 PM
I guess no brick and mortar restaurants closed before the Invasion of the Food Trucks?

IrvAdams

March 02, 2014, 02:37:08 PM
I think food trucks can generate customers that weren't there previously. Their variety and creativity, plus their loyal social media following, will pull workers and visitors out to eat who wouldn't have treated themselves otherwise. I know I often bring lunch but will occasionally get something to go if it's available (and quick and easy).

peestandingup

March 02, 2014, 02:39:10 PM
How many B&Ms have closed in the core (specifically downtown) because of food trucks? My guess is none. With that said, I'm not a food truck operater but I am not in favor of limiting trucks in downtown.  If anything, we need more because of the vitality, excitement and foot traffic they bring. However, I do understand the concern of an existing B&M having a truck basically pull up and serve people right in front of their front door. Instead of limiting, how about we actually designate spots where multiple trucks can set up and serve?

As for the struggling B&Ms, we shouldn't blame their struggles on trucks.  There's a whole bunch of other issues that need to be addressed, some unique to each individual business. These range from having an inferior product to limited visibility from the street and locations with a declining surrounding office worker population. Attacking and prohibiting the growth of the food truck industry isn't going to resolve their ultimate issues.

I find it curious that we consider ourselves a 'free market' but do not mind placing restrictions when we believe that our ox is being gored.  I agree that we have brick and mortar businesses that may be needlessly scapegoating the food truck business for problems that are not related to the food trucks...

That's because most of the business types who say that are full of shit & only root for the "free market" when it benefits them. If you can't compete with a mobile vendor who's slinging out food & drinks wrapped in napkins & styrofoam cups with nowhere for patrons to sit, then surprise! You have a crappy business regardless. End of story.

icarus

March 02, 2014, 05:10:57 PM
email from moveon.org petition to those who signed online:

"I don't intend to support Brown's legislation if he introduces it and will do everything in my power to defeat it. I would suggest to him we spend our time on much more important issues facing the City at present. It is pretty ridiculous!"
Sincerely,
Bill Gulliford,  President
Jacksonville City Council

IrvAdams

March 02, 2014, 06:14:32 PM
Bravo! A strong gutsy stand. Thank you, Mr. Gulliford.

Jaxson

March 02, 2014, 06:27:37 PM
How many B&Ms have closed in the core (specifically downtown) because of food trucks? My guess is none. With that said, I'm not a food truck operater but I am not in favor of limiting trucks in downtown.  If anything, we need more because of the vitality, excitement and foot traffic they bring. However, I do understand the concern of an existing B&M having a truck basically pull up and serve people right in front of their front door. Instead of limiting, how about we actually designate spots where multiple trucks can set up and serve?

As for the struggling B&Ms, we shouldn't blame their struggles on trucks.  There's a whole bunch of other issues that need to be addressed, some unique to each individual business. These range from having an inferior product to limited visibility from the street and locations with a declining surrounding office worker population. Attacking and prohibiting the growth of the food truck industry isn't going to resolve their ultimate issues.

I find it curious that we consider ourselves a 'free market' but do not mind placing restrictions when we believe that our ox is being gored.  I agree that we have brick and mortar businesses that may be needlessly scapegoating the food truck business for problems that are not related to the food trucks...

That's because most of the business types who say that are full of shit & only root for the "free market" when it benefits them. If you can't compete with a mobile vendor who's slinging out food & drinks wrapped in napkins & styrofoam cups with nowhere for patrons to sit, then surprise! You have a crappy business regardless. End of story.

When I grow up, I want to be you.  Very well put! :-)

ronchamblin

March 02, 2014, 08:35:10 PM
Forgive me for my tendency for repetition, but ..... my wish is to support food trucks and their freedoms "outside" the core, and to limit their appearance "in" the core -- not to protect “mediocre” core establishments, as some have naively suggested -- but to address a “core destroying” dynamic, the essence of which seems so far to escape most who argue the issue. 

Our objective is not to “save” mediocrities in the core, but to provide an environment, by a measure of control, that will encourage movement toward fundamental and real vibrancy/infill in the core.

I suggest that we are set to make a choice.  Do we want food trucks and their customers -- many of whom are short-term visitors to the core -- “in” the core, giving more choices for food, and the “appearance” of an increased vibrancy?  ... or do we want, before this century ends, true vibrancy and infill? 

Many of you say... “I want food trucks” .. “Choice is good for customers and business” .. “food trucks brings in more people to the core”.. “don’t stifle the small business food truck entrepreneurs”.. “give them freedom to do business” .. “don’t protect mediocre B & M in the core .. let them fail if they cannot compete with somebody slinging food from a truck”.  Most of these “business realities” are true and desirable in most cases.   

However, the city core is unique.  Does anyone believe it is “possible” that having food trucks allowed in quantity in the city core will be detrimental ... destructive .. to the long-term process of achieving full vibrancy and infill in the core?  A simple question. 

If you think it “impossible”, then we have an impasse.  If you think it “possible”, then I suggest that you attempt to measure the “probability” of it carefully because we are set to make a careless decision which will have a long-term impact on our efforts to achieve vibrancy and infill in the city core.

The city core is weak, semi-desolate, wounded by decades of neglect, and therefore it is vulnerable to any pressure to it, including an invasion by food trucks which could, and will, ultimately prolong its journey to strength. What appears to be a good move, an injection of the right medicine, will prove to be a slow poison to the core.  Why and how?

There is an element of unfairness about having more than two or three food trucks in the city core.  The unfairness begins with the fact that there is a limited number of customers in the core -- customers currently being satisfied by existing B & M operations.  These B & M have endured the semi-desolation, and have invested heavily in their businesses.  Some are on the border of failure, not because of mediocrity of food or service, but because of the lack of foot traffic.  Any excessive intrusion of food trucks into the downtown environment will do two things:  It will ensure the failure of some B & M, and it will ensure that no more B & M open up in the core.

I propose that we let these food truck entrepreneurs, those brave fellows and ladies who want to compete, “practice” their operation “outside” of the core.  Then ... and I know this makes no sense to those bent on having food trucks in the core .... let these newly “experienced” food truck operators open a new B & M right in the core.  “This” will be a move toward infill and vibrancy, and will not destroy existing B & M operations.  We need more B & M in the core, not less ... as this is the essence of a move toward true vibrancy.

And, as I’ve said before, it would be quite alright for the food trucks to come into the core “IF”, for every B & M operation destroyed as a consequence of their presence,  they would be expected to open a new B & M to replace the one they destroyed.  Isn’t this fair?... that is, if the goal is to maintain or increase the use of buildings in the core?  Whereas, as a consequence of having food trucks in the core, we are able to measure the number of failed B & M, we would have no way to measure the number that “did not” open in the core as a consequence of their presence.   
 
We can, if we are not careful, end up with very few B & M operations -- more building vacancies, and a bunch of food trucks in the core.  Is this what we want?  Is the core to become a circus environment, existing among increased building vacancies?   

The point is that once the core has achieved a high vibrancy and infill, the presence of food trucks will have little affect on the B & M’s because sufficient foot traffic will exist via the new residents, workers, and visitors.

Somebody suggested that some root for the free market as long as it benefits them.  I love the free market, as I’ve destroyed most of my competition over the decades as a consequence of engaging it.  However, when there are components and decisions affecting the overall goal of achieving sustained vibrancy and infill in our city core, I wish to measure those components, to determine which hinder and which assist -- to eliminate the former and to embrace the latter.   

Instead of carelessly allowing something into the core that tends to weaken it, and will certainly impede its revitalization -- just because some “want food trucks in the core” -- why not address the issues of parking, of mass transit, or the one-way street issue, the lack of incentives for small and big investors, of very aggressive efforts to pull residents and businesses “into” the core, of the transient/homeless problem, of the education of all citizens and council members as to the benefits to the entire county by having a strong and vibrant city core ... anything that contributes solidly to achieving the goal of real revitalization.

Strong leadership + vision = Education = informed citizens and cc members = consensus = plans = action = achievement of goal.  Without strong leadership, nothing of consequence happens. Mediocrity and stagnation continues.  Who will emerge to be our strong mayor?       
 

 



     





thelakelander

March 02, 2014, 08:53:10 PM
Quote
I suggest that we are set to make a choice.  Do we want food trucks and their customers -- many of whom are short-term visitors to the core -- “in” the core, giving more choices for food, and the “appearance” of an increased vibrancy?  ... or do we want, before this century ends, true vibrancy and infill?

Ron, I think this statement (especially with no factual data to back it up) kills the argument you present after it.

It's not an either/or choice. It never was or has been and shouldn't be presented as or forced to be that way. Like every other city across the country that has embraced this industry and personal innovation & creativity, we can have both.

Those who further regulate and restrict, typically end up with the dead downtown environment.  We don't have to go any further than Jax's Northbank for proof of what an overregulated urban environment looks like.

fieldafm

March 02, 2014, 08:56:10 PM
With all due respect.. Each time you 'clarify' your remarks, the worse your argument gets.

Maybe when the library hires a lawyer to lobby a councilman to legislate away any used book stores within 300 feet of a library, your definition of 'sustained vibrancy' will also change.

I also find it odd that you believe that more restaurants wont canibalze on the limited amount of customers in downtown, but food trucks will. Interested in your theory on that.

fieldafm

March 02, 2014, 09:04:53 PM
As I was eating lunch at Olio on Friday and standing in a line of 23 people (I counted), I couldn't help but wonder how such an establishment like this can survive on the very same day that six food trucks were downtown?

ronchamblin

March 02, 2014, 09:22:56 PM
Quote
I suggest that we are set to make a choice.  Do we want food trucks and their customers -- many of whom are short-term visitors to the core -- “in” the core, giving more choices for food, and the “appearance” of an increased vibrancy?  ... or do we want, before this century ends, true vibrancy and infill?

Ron, I think this statement (especially with no factual data to back it up) kills the argument you present after it.

It's not an either/or choice. It never was or has been and shouldn't be presented as or forced to be that way. Like every other city across the country that has embraced this industry and personal innovation & creativity, we can have both.

Those who further regulate and restrict, typically end up with the dead downtown environment.  We don't have to go any further than Jax's Northbank for proof of what an overregulated urban environment looks like.

I can go along with your thinking Lake as long as everyone agrees with the following:

For every B & M leaving the core as a consequence of the presence of food trucks, that one, or preferably two, B & M replace the one destroyed.  What do you think about this rule?  Of course, we will never know who many potential B & M entrepreneurs choose to avoid the core because the demand for lunch food is already being met by food trucks.

The idea of encouraging food trucks into the core, when our objective should be to infill "buildings" and "store fronts", makes little sense.... especially when the presence of excessive food trucks "must" have an affect against B & M.

I would agree with no limits on food trucks, as long as I could be assured that we would not lose B & M operations.  Its as simple as that with me.  However, there would still be the question of how many B & M would not open up because of the food trucks were meeting the demand. 

Of course, maybe all this talk about food trucks does not mean "dozens" in the core.  If there were only ... say... four or five, the it might be tolerable; that is, the harm would be minimal, and the result would simply be good, because a measure of competition would improve the B & M operations.

To to have anything above five or so food trucks in the core, would be promote the damage I've outlined above.

stephendare

March 02, 2014, 09:25:00 PM
there is no clarification necessary.

Its unfounded and comes from a place of entitlement that has been blown completely out of proportion.

thelakelander

March 02, 2014, 09:56:32 PM
Quote
I suggest that we are set to make a choice.  Do we want food trucks and their customers -- many of whom are short-term visitors to the core -- “in” the core, giving more choices for food, and the “appearance” of an increased vibrancy?  ... or do we want, before this century ends, true vibrancy and infill?

Ron, I think this statement (especially with no factual data to back it up) kills the argument you present after it.

It's not an either/or choice. It never was or has been and shouldn't be presented as or forced to be that way. Like every other city across the country that has embraced this industry and personal innovation & creativity, we can have both.

Those who further regulate and restrict, typically end up with the dead downtown environment.  We don't have to go any further than Jax's Northbank for proof of what an overregulated urban environment looks like.

I can go along with your thinking Lake as long as everyone agrees with the following:

For every B & M leaving the core as a consequence of the presence of food trucks, that one, or preferably two, B & M replace the one destroyed.  What do you think about this rule?  Of course, we will never know who many potential B & M entrepreneurs choose to avoid the core because the demand for lunch food is already being met by food trucks.

I know of several trucks that have produced new B&Ms but no existing B&Ms that have closed because of a random food truck. If no B&M has closed because of food trucks, why is such a rule needed for a problem that can't be proven?  If someone has closed, who is it? 

Quote
The idea of encouraging food trucks into the core, when our objective should be to infill "buildings" and "store fronts", makes little sense.... especially when the presence of excessive food trucks "must" have an affect against B & M.

Food trucks stimulate additional foot traffic and create opportunity for infilling buildings and storefronts. As we speak, there is a truck attempting to open a B&M in the old Starbucks space at Forsyth & Main.

Quote
I would agree with no limits on food trucks, as long as I could be assured that we would not lose B & M operations.  Its as simple as that with me.  However, there would still be the question of how many B & M would not open up because of the food trucks were meeting the demand.

Trucks or not, we'll never have a situation of where we can ensure all existing B&M operations will forever remain open.

Quote
Of course, maybe all this talk about food trucks does not mean "dozens" in the core.  If there were only ... say... four or five, the it might be tolerable; that is, the harm would be minimal, and the result would simply be good, because a measure of competition would improve the B & M operations.

Anyone who really wants true market rate vibrancy shouldn't attempt to limit the market out of fear that some substandard businesses may end up losing over time. When you have a truly vibrant market, places that close, are simply replaced with new business venues.  Just take a look at the Elbow. Many of the bars along East Bay have closed over the years but they all end up getting replaced by new venues like Underbelly or the Cigar Bar.

Quote
To to have anything above five or so food trucks in the core, would be promote the damage I've outlined above.
How do you come up with five as a number?  What data is that based on?

ronchamblin

March 02, 2014, 09:58:04 PM
With all due respect.. Each time you 'clarify' your remarks, the worse your argument gets.

Maybe when the library hires a lawyer to lobby a councilman to legislate away any used book stores within 300 feet of a library, your definition of 'sustained vibrancy' will also change.

I also find it odd that you believe that more restaurants wont canibalze on the limited amount of customers in downtown, but food trucks will. Interested in your theory on that.


Your agreement holds no water.  The library is a fixed B & M location, contributing to the vibrancy of the core simply by "being a fixed structure".... enhancing the environment via the architecture and the permanence of it.  The library contributes directly to the vibrancy of the core, without providing any destructive pressures to anything else in the core.  And my bookstore cafe is a solid partner with the library in its affect.  The library and my place are genuine contributions to the traditional meaning of vibrancy being solid draws to the core for people looking to live and work. 

Your second comment makes little sense; that is, if our objective is to achieve vibrancy, and a beautiful city core. First of all, I assume that you see the benefit of having B & M operations in the core, as apposed to having food trucks. 

In a free market, the number of restaurants opening in a set number of blocks is fixed by natural demand.  If too many open up, then one or two will fail.  If not enough are opened, then new ones will be pressured to open.  A balance is achieved, and all is good. What more could you want; that is, if the goal is to achieve vibrancy and "building infill" in the core.  If you "are not" concerned about the huge building vacancies in your city core then, given a particular level of restaurant customer demand ...  your solution seems to be that of filling the demand with food trucks instead of with B & M operations.  Why not encourage new B & M (even from experienced food truck operations), as this will reduce the building vacancies.  Isn't the reduction of building vacancies directly tied to the achievement of solid vibrancy and an increased tax base? 

If the demand in the core can be met by 40 food operations, wouldn't you rather that most all be met by 40 B & M operations, which are permanent, adding good ambience and vibrancy, along with tax dollars .. instead of 30 B & M operations and 10 food trucks, which do nothing to reduce building vacancies? Don't you see the value in solid occupation of buildings?  An occasional food truck is okay, but there must be a limit "in the city core".  Whereas food trucks disappear at night and outside of lunch time, permanent B & M show "vibrancy" at midnight, even though they are closed.  Would you rather see vacant buildings at night, or occupied locations, even though closed for the night?     

RyeRyeRocco

March 02, 2014, 09:59:43 PM
I find it mildly comical.

We want people downtown.

But food trucks only bring them here temporarily.

That's not the kind of customer we want.

Since when did Steve Jobs or Bill Gates turn down money? I will say this from atop any soap box I can get on....if ANY business is scared of a food truck, that business has much larger issues. And if this debate is about just downtown; can someone tell Reggie that? Don't draw up an ordinance with some numbers he grabbed out of a hat.

thelakelander

March 02, 2014, 10:03:18 PM
If the demand in the core can be met by 40 food operations, wouldn't you rather that most all be met by 40 B & M operations, which are permanent, adding good ambience and vibrancy, along with tax dollars .. instead of 30 B & M operations and 10 food trucks, which do nothing to reduce building vacancies? Don't you see the value in solid occupation of buildings?  An occasional food truck is okay, but there must be a limit "in the city core".  Whereas food trucks disappear at night and outside of lunch time, permanent B & M show "vibrancy" at midnight, even though they are closed.  Would you rather see vacant buildings at night, or occupied locations, even though closed for the night?

This assumes "demand" is a set number that doesn't grow or decrease. Trucks (nationwide) have been proven to attract more people to a certain area. People who otherwise would have never come or been a part of the "assumed" set number for demand. For example, I've driven to certain areas of town to try specific trucks. Sometimes, I eat at those trucks and other times, I end up eating or picking up take out from a nearby B&M. Without the truck initially drawing me to that specific area of town, I would have never been a part of the "assumed" set number.

ronchamblin

March 02, 2014, 10:18:11 PM
Some problems are not solved by depending of firm statistics or evidences, as there might be none on a unique situation, but they are solved via intuition, projection, logic, and common sense.  I'm saying that encouraging food trucks into the core provides a pressure that can only be described as destructive to the effort to achieve progress toward full vibrancy. 

If new food operations are to be in the core, then why not let them be B & M operations?  Why not encourage those food truck heroes to be real heroes, and "open B & M's in the core?  Encouraging food trucks "instead of" B & M's to open in the core works against long-term revitalization efforts. 

Although I support in most cases the free market, there are times when measured guidance is needed from government so that the needs of the community can be met.  There have been occasions when unfettered freedom in the marketplace has been ultimately detrimental to society overall.  And the same applies to issues in affecting our city core.   

stephendare

March 02, 2014, 10:26:25 PM
Some problems are not solved by depending of firm statistics or evidences, as there might be none on a unique situation, but they are solved via intuition, projection, logic, and common sense.  I'm saying that encouraging food trucks into the core provides a pressure that can only be described as destructive to the effort to achieve progress toward full vibrancy. 

If new food operations are to be in the core, then why not let them be B & M operations?  Why not encourage those food truck heroes to be real heroes, and "open B & M's in the core?  Encouraging food trucks "instead of" B & M's to open in the core works against long-term revitalization efforts. 

Although I support in most cases the free market, there are times when measured guidance is needed from government so that the needs of the community can be met.  There have been occasions when unfettered freedom in the marketplace has been ultimately detrimental to society overall.  And the same applies to issues in affecting our city core.

because our city core is magic?  and the laws of commerce and trade are suspended in a one mile vicinity of la cena?

Well hows that working out?

And what happens when Jerry closes, loses interest or has a medical issue?

All that city policy and all those broken business plans made to accomodate a handful of businesses who won't be around forever?

That makes sense.

Its like all the stuff springfield did for Louise DeSpain and SRG.  Yet go call for Mack Bissette or Louise now. The damage is done and they are all gone.

 It was another special place that needed special rules to give an uneven playing field to a select few.

These things never work out.

ronchamblin

March 02, 2014, 10:30:36 PM
If the demand in the core can be met by 40 food operations, wouldn't you rather that most all be met by 40 B & M operations, which are permanent, adding good ambience and vibrancy, along with tax dollars .. instead of 30 B & M operations and 10 food trucks, which do nothing to reduce building vacancies? Don't you see the value in solid occupation of buildings?  An occasional food truck is okay, but there must be a limit "in the city core".  Whereas food trucks disappear at night and outside of lunch time, permanent B & M show "vibrancy" at midnight, even though they are closed.  Would you rather see vacant buildings at night, or occupied locations, even though closed for the night?

This assumes "demand" is a set number that doesn't grow or decrease. Trucks (nationwide) have been proven to attract more people to a certain area. People who otherwise would have never come or been a part of the "assumed" set number for demand. For example, I've driven to certain areas of town to try specific trucks. Sometimes, I eat at those trucks and other times, I end up eating or picking up take out from a nearby B&M. Without the truck initially drawing me to that specific area of town, I would have never been a part of the "assumed" set number.

I see your point.  In other words, overall, the existence of a good number of food trucks will bring a visiting population from out of the core ... to the core.  This alone is good, as it does add a measure of vibrancy.  And, if things work properly, some of those food truck operators, just might like an area, and say "hey, I want to open a restaurant near where my food truck has been doing so well." 

This would be a welcomed and natural progression.  Let's hope that it occurs, preferably many times, because if it doesn't, we might find ourselves with more food trucks, and the same old building vacancies. 

I suppose that we have two opposing pressures, one being the food trucks becoming a draw to the core of people outside of it, and the other being the pressure being applied against the B & M operations.  The strength of each pressure is at present unknown. Only time will tell the outcome.   

stephendare

March 02, 2014, 10:32:40 PM
that and this imaginary distinction between 'brick and mortar' and 'other'.

In the final analysis, they are all just businesses, and no one owns downtown.

You own your business.  Not the businesses next to you. 

RyeRyeRocco

March 02, 2014, 10:40:42 PM
that and this imaginary distinction between 'brick and mortar' and 'other'.

In the final analysis, they are all just businesses, and no one owns downtown.

You own your business.  Not the businesses next to you.
Is that why a Quiznos and a Subway can exist in the same downtown everyone so covets?

thelakelander

March 02, 2014, 10:41:10 PM
Some problems are not solved by depending of firm statistics or evidences, as there might be none on a unique situation, but they are solved via intuition, projection, logic, and common sense.  I'm saying that encouraging food trucks into the core provides a pressure that can only be described as destructive to the effort to achieve progress toward full vibrancy.

Opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one. Without evidence or factual data to confirm an opinion, there is no problem worth solving via legal regulation. 

Quote
If new food operations are to be in the core, then why not let them be B & M operations?  Why not encourage those food truck heroes to be real heroes, and "open B & M's in the core?  Encouraging food trucks "instead of" B & M's to open in the core works against long-term revitalization efforts.

Why should it matter since it can't be actually proven that trucks are causing B&Ms to close? However, it can be proven that trucks are helping long-term revitalization locally. Besides, anyone willing to spend their own money opening a business in Jacksonville is a hero (especially when not asking for subsidies or regulations to limit competition), regardless of if it's sitting on a concrete foundation or rolling on wheels.

Quote
Although I support in most cases the free market, there are times when measured guidance is needed from government so that the needs of the community can be met.  There have been occasions when unfettered freedom in the marketplace has been ultimately detrimental to society overall.  And the same applies to issues in affecting our city core.

How did we arrive to the conclusion that food trucks aren't meeting the needs of the community?  Judging from the response of the overall community on this issue and their growth over the last two years, it seems they have the community's support.

ronchamblin

March 02, 2014, 10:41:56 PM
that and this imaginary distinction between 'brick and mortar' and 'other'.

In the final analysis, they are all just businesses, and no one owns downtown.

You own your business.  Not the businesses next to you. 
[/quote]

I've said about all I've got for now.  Thanks for engaging, my MJ friends.  We've made some progress I think.  It's fun to argue the various components of an issue. 

I do own my business, and the building next to me, which will soon be renovated, providing another plus for the core, with six apartments, which are already rented .. and some new operation in the former Gus' location on the first floor. Any ideas as to the best use of the first floor.  I've not a clue yet, as to the best use of it.

I do not own downtown, but I do own my desire to speed along its journey to vibrancy and infill.  Sleep well Stephen, my good friend.   

stephendare

March 02, 2014, 10:46:40 PM
Quote
that and this imaginary distinction between 'brick and mortar' and 'other'.

In the final analysis, they are all just businesses, and no one owns downtown.

You own your business.  Not the businesses next to you. 

I've said about all I've got for now.  Thanks for engaging, my MJ friends.  We've made some progress I think.  It's fun to argue the various components of an issue. 

I do own my business, and the building next to me, which will soon be renovated, providing another plus for the core, with six apartments, which are already rented .. and some new operation in the former Gus' location on the first floor. Any ideas as to the best use of the first floor.  I've not a clue yet, as to the best use of it.

I do not own downtown, but I do own my desire to speed along its journey to vibrancy and infill.  Sleep well Stephen, my good friend.

I always sleep well, Chamblin. It comes from an easy conscience and a sense of the ethereal beauty of the spiritual.

ronchamblin

March 02, 2014, 10:48:41 PM
Please call me Ron.

from Lakelander:

How did we arrive to the conclusion that food trucks aren't meeting the needs of the community?  Judging from the response of the overall community on this issue and their growth over the last two years, it seems they have the community's support.



Fundamentally,  I'm focused on revitalizing the city core, and suspect that progress on that journey is not necessarily aligned with a population's demand for food trucks.

thelakelander

March 02, 2014, 10:50:34 PM
If the demand in the core can be met by 40 food operations, wouldn't you rather that most all be met by 40 B & M operations, which are permanent, adding good ambience and vibrancy, along with tax dollars .. instead of 30 B & M operations and 10 food trucks, which do nothing to reduce building vacancies? Don't you see the value in solid occupation of buildings?  An occasional food truck is okay, but there must be a limit "in the city core".  Whereas food trucks disappear at night and outside of lunch time, permanent B & M show "vibrancy" at midnight, even though they are closed.  Would you rather see vacant buildings at night, or occupied locations, even though closed for the night?

This assumes "demand" is a set number that doesn't grow or decrease. Trucks (nationwide) have been proven to attract more people to a certain area. People who otherwise would have never come or been a part of the "assumed" set number for demand. For example, I've driven to certain areas of town to try specific trucks. Sometimes, I eat at those trucks and other times, I end up eating or picking up take out from a nearby B&M. Without the truck initially drawing me to that specific area of town, I would have never been a part of the "assumed" set number.

I see your point.  In other words, overall, the existence of a good number of food trucks will bring a visiting population from out of the core ... to the core.  This alone is good, as it does add a measure of vibrancy.  And, if things work properly, some of those food truck operators, just might like an area, and say "hey, I want to open a restaurant near where my food truck has been doing so well." 

This would be a welcomed and natural progression.  Let's hope that it occurs, preferably many times, because if it doesn't, we might find ourselves with more food trucks, and the same old building vacancies.


Luckily, there's nothing new under the sun and DT Jax's problems aren't unique. Nationally and locally, we've witnessed trucks bring more people into certain areas and those areas economically benefitting as a result. Local jobs are being created, authentic businesses opening and vacant buildings started to get filled in spaces across the city. It's time to facilitate personal innovation and creative for the betterment of Jacksonville.

Quote
I suppose that we have two opposing pressures, one being the food trucks becoming a draw to the core of people outside of it, and the other being the pressure being applied against the B & M operations.  The strength of each pressure is at present unknown. Only time will tell the outcome.

At this point, until some numbers start to materialize confirming the accusations, it appears a few B&Ms seem to be more fearful of the potential competition/changing consumer demographics, etc. more than anything else.

ronchamblin

March 02, 2014, 10:52:02 PM
There have been times throughout history, when a population didn't know what was good for them.  There have been times when one man is opposed by many, allied against him, and in the end, that one man was right.  ;D

stephendare

March 02, 2014, 10:53:13 PM
There have been times throughout history, when a population didn't know what was good for them.  There have been times when one man is opposed by many, allied against him, and in the end, that one man was right.  ;D

and then again, there are vastly more times, when the one guy is just out of his gourd.

thelakelander

March 02, 2014, 10:54:11 PM
Fundamentally,  I'm focused on revitalizing the city core, and suspect that progress on that journey is not necessarily aligned with a population's demand for food trucks.

For legal regulation to limit business growth, consumer choice and people's ability to support their families, suspicions should be converted into hard evidence.

ronchamblin

March 02, 2014, 10:55:02 PM
There have been times throughout history, when a population didn't know what was good for them.  There have been times when one man is opposed by many, allied against him, and in the end, that one man was right.  ;D

and then again, there are vastly more times, when the one guy is just out of his gourd.

True.  But its fun.

stephendare

March 02, 2014, 10:56:18 PM
There have been times throughout history, when a population didn't know what was good for them.  There have been times when one man is opposed by many, allied against him, and in the end, that one man was right.  ;D

and then again, there are vastly more times, when the one guy is just out of his gourd.

True.  But its fun.

especially ipso facto.

ronchamblin

March 02, 2014, 11:08:37 PM
Fundamentally,  I'm focused on revitalizing the city core, and suspect that progress on that journey is not necessarily aligned with a population's demand for food trucks.

For legal regulation to limit business growth, consumer choice and people's ability to support their families, suspicions should be converted into hard evidence.


Makes sense.  I've expended my current basket of ideas, and so I rest.  If we are lucky, our discussion has produced ideas giving more clarity to the issue.  I'm so pleased that nobody has muddied the water with insults etc.  There is hope.

stephendare

March 02, 2014, 11:26:17 PM
Fundamentally,  I'm focused on revitalizing the city core, and suspect that progress on that journey is not necessarily aligned with a population's demand for food trucks.

For legal regulation to limit business growth, consumer choice and people's ability to support their families, suspicions should be converted into hard evidence.


Makes sense.  I've expended my current basket of ideas, and so I rest.  If we are lucky, our discussion has produced ideas giving more clarity to the issue.  I'm so pleased that nobody has muddied the water with insults etc.  There is hope.

Its amazing what happens when you dont start a flame war. No one insults you in return. 

ronchamblin

March 03, 2014, 07:26:53 AM
I agree totally.  I know that I've become less apt to become defensive and to respond with verbal attacks.  And I am very pleased that you and others have, over recent years, responded positively to pressure to avoid unnecessary insults, and wasteful name calling.  We've all been guilty in varying measures.  The forum has gained as a consequence of our changes in this respect. 

I've also learned a few things about engaging forum discussions, especially concerning my often insensitive attacks on Christians.  And I thank my fellow posters for this pressure on me to improve my thinking on the subject.

Overall, the forum is an "exercise" for all of us .... an exercise not conveniently available prior to the Internet.  Ultimately, the issues introduced, are usually given a good debate, and sometimes a good consensus as to solutions.  In any case, the arguments result in increased clarity on issues.   

Onward. :)

ben says

March 03, 2014, 07:36:54 AM
I've also learned a few things about engaging forum discussions, especially concerning my often insensitive attacks on Christians.  And I thank my fellow posters for this pressure on me to improve my thinking on the subject.

Nooooo!!!!! Now I'm the only one throwing insensitive attacks on Christians?! You've failed me Ron!  ;D

DeadGirlsDontDance

March 03, 2014, 08:24:54 AM
I just got an email from MoveOn.org this morning:

We received the following statement from Bill Gulliford, President of City Council in response to the petition "Save Jax Truckies" (http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/save-jax-truckies), which you signed. We thought you'd like to see it.

------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't intend to support Brown's legislation if he introduces it and will do everything in my power to defeat it. I would suggest to him we spend our time on much more important issues facing the City at present. It is pretty ridiculous!
Sincerely,
Bill Gulliford,  President
Jacksonville City Council

------------------------------------------------------------------

Dog Walker

March 03, 2014, 09:24:58 AM
I got the same message from MoveOn.  I think everyone who signed the petition got that reply.  Pretty forceful for a politician.

Doctor_K

March 03, 2014, 11:28:16 AM
Just signed the petition.  The response email I got said they were north of 9,700 signatures.

Is that a good start, or is that about all we're going to get to support this, do you think?

IrvAdams

March 03, 2014, 02:58:21 PM
I think this is just the first layer, I'm sure there's many more out there.

IrvAdams

March 06, 2014, 04:30:04 PM
I got an email reply from Councilman Brown regarding the first meeting of the committee to draft new food truck legislation; the meeting will be:

Wednesday, March 12th at 3:30pm  in the Don Davis Room on the 1st floor  of City Hall- 117 W. Duval Street (downtown)

RyeRyeRocco

March 06, 2014, 06:14:55 PM
His assistant called me today. I hope this thing is worth my time. Something inside of me thinks his decision is made.

Noone

March 07, 2014, 07:12:41 AM
Flashbacks to 2010-856
Transient vendor ban.
Public, Private, Partnership?
Will be following this along with everyone else.
Thanks for the heads up Mike.

In 2010-856 Food trucks were exempt from DOWNTOWN!

IrvAdams

March 07, 2014, 08:42:09 AM
Brown sounded like he was willing to work with everyone who showed up for the initial kickoff of this unneeded layer of legislation. I don't think it's going to be that extreme. There are just too many people who are too strongly opposed for all the right reasons.

I would hope to see a sane discussion of any issues that may exist from both sides. I'm certain that logic will prevail over emotion and superfluous rule-making.

TheCat

March 07, 2014, 08:26:37 PM
http://news.wjct.org/post/gulliford-opposes-new-food-truck-regulations#.UxYibeynFsw.twitter

Bill Gulliford is stepping in front of this legislation. Will you vote for him for Mayor now?

I'll say it again if Brown scratches this bill and writes one that protects food trucks, instead of prohibits them he'll become a popular man...one that learns from his mistakes. ;)

And, that's how we should be framing these conversations with Brown, if these meetings are actually relevant. If he wants to start from a position that essentially outlaws a food truck. I suggest we start from a position that allows food trucks to drive into a Quiznos to sell food and have full access to Quiznos' electricity and bathrooms.

Let's work on legislation that's not prohibitory but instead protects the food trucks industry in this city.

It's insane to work from a position of prohibition when we should be working from a position of "permission", meaning protecting this industry's right to exist.

ronchamblin

March 09, 2014, 12:36:41 PM
FT’s (Food Trucks).  B & M (Brick and Mortar). 

The current argument is I suppose, fundamentally about how much, if any, limitation is to be placed upon the locations allowed for FT operation – or, more specifically, how close to established B & M restaurants, is any legislation to allow FT’s to set up.
 
Most problems are composed of several components, each having a certain weight or value, which in the end, as they are placed upon the scale, and if the weight of each approaches reality, will cause a proper and just decision.
 
Giving excessive weight, via emotion or ignorance, to a certain component, or failing to perceive the existence of a component which, if known, would apply relevant weight to the scale, will certainly skew the scale’s balance to a decision unfair or unjust to those affected by it.
 
Therefore, one would think that if an argument is to end with a decision or legislation of fairness to the most individuals, and to the community at large, then one might consider the importance of discussing all components, and the weight of each.  Unfortunately, although a component affecting the scale might be identified, the weight of it can too often be in question.  The weight of a component can be determined via experimentation; that is, by simply allowing its existence to affect the scenario over time, but this experiment can cause damage along the way if, by its nature and true weight, it can produce no other consequence.

In other words, any experiment regarding how far the FT’s are to be limited to the existing B & M restaurants, might appear okay in the beginning, and might divulge an estimate of the weight of some components, but the experiment could do long-term harm to the area -- or to the city core -- that is, if any are allowed into the core on a daily basis.
   
What are the components?
 
Surely one is the following:
 
Competition is good for the community, for the consumer, and ultimately for the business involved in it, as it encourages increased quality of product and service.

And Another:
 
An increased population of FT’s in an environment,  can and will bring more consumers from the outlying areas -- to the area wherein the FT’s are set up.  The unknown at this point is whether the gain in visiting consumers is sufficient to allow for the prosperity and survival of the B & M restaurants.
   
Another:
 
There is a desirable quality offered by B & M restaurants which gives permanence to the environment, the idea of a solid community, and perhaps an esthetic plus in the form of architecture beauty -- filling otherwise empty buildings – and therefore the essence of, and quality of, a community gains from the existence of the B & M.
 
Another:
 
FT’s can add a festive quality to an environment, and certainly, as consequence of their number, a variety of food types, thus being attractive to more consumers.
 
Another:
 
Employment must be increased where possible -- unemployment decreased.  Therefore, any new business possibilities in any area should be encouraged and supported by the community.
 
Another:

All involved in the community should hold a vision of the betterment of it over the long haul, and should avoid immediate gains in profits or employment which ultimately destroys the ability to reach these same goals over the long haul.

Another:

The FT business can be a learning experience from which the entrepreneur can open and operate B & M restaurants.

Another:
 
If the FT’s are allowed consistently, and daily, too close to existing B & M’s, then there will be a pressure, although of unknown magnitude, to impair the profits of, and survivability of, the existing B & M restaurants.

Another:

B & M restaurants invest and open at a certain location, and prepare their business plan with the expectation that competition will be limited by the buildings adjacent, and in the immediate environment, perhaps including buildings within several blocks.
 
Regarding the last component -- To expect these fixed, and somewhat trapped, B & M’s restaurants to accept what amounts to unfairness to them by the community; that is, if legislation allows the FT’s to occupy unreasonable close set-ups to their locations – is not only to expect too much from them, but is to allow a measure of treachery – the treachery being greater as the FT distance allowed is decreased to  ..  say, one or two blocks, and more considerate of their predicament and expectations, as the distance is increased to .. say,  five or six blocks.
   
To engage in the support of any component with excessive emotion, attempting to give it weight not supported by reality, or to ignore the existence of a certain component, is to prolong debate, and to invite an unfair decision in the end.
 
For example, when one states (and I’ve seen this in this discussion), “Well, if the B & M restaurants can’t compete, then let them fail.” – is to ignore the weight of at least two components above.
 
A failure to perceive components in a problem or issue, or to assign sufficient weight to those perceived, gives one the confidence that their position is correct.  Opposition to their position increases their defenses, thus their emotions, and thus the tendency to be unreasonable in their thinking.
       
There are more components to the problem of FT vs. B & M distances.  I’ve to go to work.  What are some other significant components on this issue?

stephendare

March 09, 2014, 12:45:55 PM
its basically bullshit to treat food trucks as a different kind of business as a fixed location.  Its a losing argument in the world as it is and it will only lead to mayhem. 

Ask yourself the same questions but replace 'food truck' with ' brick and mortar', and see how much sense they make.

Most of the downtown restaurants have the same operational hours as the food trucks, so its hard to nail down what the differences are between the two in my opinion.

ronchamblin

March 09, 2014, 12:47:56 PM
You obviously haven't really read my post, and therefore you have missed some critical points.

ronchamblin

March 09, 2014, 12:50:52 PM
Perhaps I should have numbered the components, and then we could more easily discuss each.

stephendare

March 09, 2014, 12:56:32 PM
Perhaps I should have numbered the components, and then we could more easily discuss each.
Perhaps I should have numbered the components, and then we could more easily discuss each.

I read your post, and the criticism still stands.

They are just businesses.  plain and simple.

Are the so called 'brick and mortar' businesses 'predatory' or 'invasive' because they only open when the dwindling downtown population is at its peak?

Because the majority of them are not open during other business hours, in fact, several of the food trucks are open more hours weekly downtown than several of the so called brick and mortars.

Why not everyone just tend to their own businesses and make them the most competitive that they can be instead of relying on legal measures to keep a captive share?

Bet that would be better for downtown---both long and short term--- than these anti small business moves.

You guys cannot limit the downtown to what works best for a handful of businesses.  You should be cheering the expansion of the downtown possibilities because they bring more people.

In the end, you cannot decide what is best for the customers.  They will simply continue to choose san marco, riverside, and the town center.

urbanlibertarian

March 09, 2014, 01:32:05 PM
Are there government imposed costs (taxes, fees, etc.) on B&M's that food trucks don't have to pay?  I could MAYBE see regulations that would even out those differences but the other differences (mortgage or lease payments, build out, smaller payroll, JEA bill, laundry, garbage, etc.) would be efficiencies of a different business model which may allow it to succeed over a B&M.  I say let the customers decide that battle.

thelakelander

March 09, 2014, 01:47:17 PM
You guys cannot limit the downtown to what works best for a handful of businesses.  You should be cheering the expansion of the downtown possibilities because they bring more people.

In the end, you cannot decide what is best for the customers.  They will simply continue to choose san marco, riverside, and the town center.

Good point.  Jax is certainly behind the times with a lot of urban revitalization concepts and trends. In this case, this should be a good thing because the food truck phenomenon isn't unique. Instead of over thinking and complicating an issue that really isn't a issue, in the grand scheme of things, it would do Jax good to look at the results in peer communities across the country. I definitely agree with Councilman Gulliford on this one:

Quote
Jacksonville City Council President Bill Gulliford said he sees no reason to slap new rules on local food trucks.

Responding to a draft bill by Councilman Reggie Brown that would place local regulations on the food truck industry, Gulliford said the new rules are unnecessary.

"I haven't gotten any indication that there is some significant problem that needs fixing, but I have gotten an indication that an awful lot of people that like food trucks," he said.

"I have been overwhelmed with emails more so than many other issues that you would think would be more significant but the response has been pretty strong."

Gulliford said there are more important issues for council to be considering, like pension reform, and it would be a waste of time to focus on legislation that is only stirring people up.
http://news.wjct.org/post/gulliford-opposes-new-food-truck-regulations

ronchamblin

March 09, 2014, 02:03:30 PM
Are there government imposed costs (taxes, fees, etc.) on B&M's that food trucks don't have to pay?  I could MAYBE see regulations that would even out those differences but the other differences (mortgage or lease payments, build out, smaller payroll, JEA bill, laundry, garbage, etc.) would be efficiencies of a different business model which may allow it to succeed over a B&M.  I say let the customers decide that battle.

My concern is that we just might let the customers decide the end of the battle between the core B &M and the FT's. This could be disastrous because the FT's might win.  We could end up with breakfast and lunch needs in the core being satisfied by a growing FT population, and a dwindling B & M population -- a condition clearly apposing the goal of avoiding more empty buildings in the core, and ultimately avoiding the essence of core vibrancy, which should include something akin to permanence in the form of B & M operations, and not FT's. 

Remember, these B & M restaurants planned, opened, and invested with the expectations that they would contend with the reasonable competition as offered by the buildings and environment close to their chosen space.  To expect these invested restaurants to accept and invite competition with an ever increasing FT invasion in close proximity, not knowing if the invasion will ultimately bring into the environment enough new customers to keep everyone is business, is to expect too much.  The closer the FT's are allowed to operate to the established B & M, the more the scenario will approach one of unfairness  .. one of treachery by the folks setting the legislation, and one that stands a good chance impairing efforts to make solid gains in the direction of true vibrancy.  If we want to make progress toward true vibrancy and infill, we should limit the negative impact of FT's on the core's established restaurants. 

ronchamblin

March 09, 2014, 02:07:58 PM
The arguments offered by my friendly MJ persons, in my view, seems a little myopic.  I am concerned that we might make decisions based on simple thinking .. flawed thinking.  Everybody wants more people in the core.  But to assume that the single success of having more people visit the core to eat at the food trucks will produce long-term benefits, with no detriment to the prosperity and survivability of the B & M restaurants is to assume carelessly.  Although Art Walk and the Jazz Festival has offered temporary visitors to the core, there is little evidence of long-term building infill and the establishment of long-term vibrancy as a consequence of these events. 

Whereas the FT's, Art Walk, and the Jazz Festival bring people into the core on a temporary basis, it is only the FT's that have the potential to be destructive to the long term vibrancy of the core -- simply because, unless they do in fact bring into the core enough new visitors to support both the B & M restaurants "and" the FT's, there will be a net loss of restaurants occupying core buildings, and a net loss of new incoming B & M's into the core 

stephendare

March 09, 2014, 02:10:47 PM
Are there government imposed costs (taxes, fees, etc.) on B&M's that food trucks don't have to pay?  I could MAYBE see regulations that would even out those differences but the other differences (mortgage or lease payments, build out, smaller payroll, JEA bill, laundry, garbage, etc.) would be efficiencies of a different business model which may allow it to succeed over a B&M.  I say let the customers decide that battle.

My concern is that we just might let the customers decide the end of the battle between the core B &M and the FT's. This could be disastrous because the FT's might win.  We could end up with breakfast and lunch needs in the core being satisfied by a growing FT population, and a dwindling B & M population -- a condition clearly apposing the goal of avoiding more empty buildings in the core, and ultimately avoiding the essence of core vibrancy, which should include something akin to permanence in the form of B & M operations, and not FT's. 

Remember, these B & M restaurants planned, opened, and invested with the expectations that they would contend with the reasonable competition as offered by the buildings and environment close to their chosen space.  To expect these invested restaurants to accept and invite competition with an ever increasing FT invasion in close proximity, not knowing if the invasion will ultimately bring into the environment enough new customers to keep everyone is business, is to expect too much.  The closer the FT's are allowed to operate to the established B & M, the more the scenario will approach one of unfairness  .. one of treachery by the folks setting the legislation, and one that stands a good chance impairing efforts to make solid gains in the direction of true vibrancy.  If we want to make progress toward true vibrancy and infill, we should limit the negative impact of FT's on the core's established restaurants.

They are already deciding that whilst the kooks of downtown are busy making the place as inhospitable as possible.

Would you think it crazy if San Marco had invested in pulling electricity and seating out of Balis Park instead of expanding it and making it even more of a community center?

What if they decided that Hendricks Avenue needed to be closed off to food and entertainment establishments, because, you know....unfair competition?

Downtown will have to actually compete with other areas of this city if it wants to survive, and instead of doing that, it is apparently busy deciding who will walk the plank next.

Enough already.

thelakelander

March 09, 2014, 02:17:16 PM
The arguments offered by my friendly MJ persons, in my view, seems a little myopic.  I am concerned that we might make decisions based on simple thinking .. flawed thinking.

What exactly is flawed on what can be proven over and over again in cities across america?  What one solid example exists out there today that allowing food trucks to operate in downtown will ruin downtown's future?

Quote
Everybody wants more people in the core.  But to assume that the single success of having more people visit the core to eat at the food trucks will produce long-term benefits, with no detriment to the prosperity and survivability of the B & M restaurants is to assume carelessly.

One should never have to assume.  There's a pretty strong track record of success out there suggesting there's strong economic benefit in allowing the food truck industry to grow locally.  The only assumptions I've heard so far are those of unfounded fear.  Lots of what ifs but no solid evidence to suggest that those what ifs should be taken as truths or used to create and enforce restricting legislation.

Quote
Although Art Walk and the Jazz Festival has offered temporary visitors to the core, there is little evidence of long-term building infill and the establishment of long-term vibrancy as a consequence of these events.

Apples and oranges in comparing periodic special events with two forms of every day business models.

Quote
Whereas the FT's, Art Walk, and the Jazz Festival bring people into the core on a temporary basis, it is only the FT's that have the potential to be destructive to the long term vibrancy of the core -- simply because, unless they do in fact bring into the core enough new visitors to support both the B & M restaurants "and" the FT's, there will be a net loss of restaurants occupying core buildings, and a net loss of new incoming B & M's into the core.

This is a huge assumption.  Can you provide one solid example that would lead anyone to believe the assumption could be validated?

stephendare

March 09, 2014, 02:22:24 PM
This is a huge assumption.  Can you provide one solid example that would lead anyone to believe the assumption could be validated?

I think you would need to check with the State Department for a Visa to visit Bullhockeyville, Analtopia to see the solid examples.

TheCat

March 09, 2014, 03:15:27 PM
Quote
The arguments offered by my friendly MJ persons, in my view, seems a little myopic.  I am concerned that we might make decisions based on simple thinking .. flawed thinking.  Everybody wants more people in the core.  But to assume that the single success of having more people visit the core to eat at the food trucks will produce long-term benefits, with no detriment to the prosperity and survivability of the B & M restaurants is to assume carelessly...

Remarkable, that you don't see your own flawed thinking and seem unable to extend your logic beyond your incredibly biased perspective. I'm not going to pretend like your "reasonable" "components" have any basis other than your personal business interest, which I think you are too short sighted to see..."a rising tide raises all ships".

I'll urge you to talk about this in a way that is more personal to you, not in a way that pretends to be thoughtful of an overall economic environment. I don't buy it.

So, shall we pontificate how you would feel if a book store opened up across the street from you? Would you be spilling lines like "we should consider how new businesses create instability. As many of us know most start-ups fail. We have to consider the overall impact a new business will have on the overall stability of already invested downtown businesses."

It is not your place to play the King of downtown economics. You will never master it and you will only hurt it.

Frankly, it is not the responsibility of food trucks to make downtown everything we hope for it to become. That is not their role. Their role is to sell food that people will buy. Apparently, you don't see your business that way (generally, I do like your food). What we do know, there are external economic benefits to having food trucks downtown. Those benefits are the ones you would like to prohibit because somehow it's short sighted?

I'll encourage you to stop with the "let's be reasonable" arguments. Your components are shallow, and become apparently so if we were to apply them to any other economic environment. I suppose we should shut down the hot dog stand in Hemming as well because "reason!".

I'm not just looking forward to more food trucks downtown. I can't wait untill we have more creative sidewalk food carts. That will be fun for you though. You'll have to assemble more "logical" components as to why they should be disallowed. Good luck to you.





urbanlibertarian

March 09, 2014, 03:54:03 PM
Are there government imposed costs (taxes, fees, etc.) on B&M's that food trucks don't have to pay?  I could MAYBE see regulations that would even out those differences but the other differences (mortgage or lease payments, build out, smaller payroll, JEA bill, laundry, garbage, etc.) would be efficiencies of a different business model which may allow it to succeed over a B&M.  I say let the customers decide that battle.

My concern is that we just might let the customers decide the end of the battle between the core B &M and the FT's. This could be disastrous because the FT's might win.  We could end up with breakfast and lunch needs in the core being satisfied by a growing FT population, and a dwindling B & M population -- a condition clearly apposing the goal of avoiding more empty buildings in the core, and ultimately avoiding the essence of core vibrancy, which should include something akin to permanence in the form of B & M operations, and not FT's. 

Remember, these B & M restaurants planned, opened, and invested with the expectations that they would contend with the reasonable competition as offered by the buildings and environment close to their chosen space.  To expect these invested restaurants to accept and invite competition with an ever increasing FT invasion in close proximity, not knowing if the invasion will ultimately bring into the environment enough new customers to keep everyone is business, is to expect too much.  The closer the FT's are allowed to operate to the established B & M, the more the scenario will approach one of unfairness  .. one of treachery by the folks setting the legislation, and one that stands a good chance impairing efforts to make solid gains in the direction of true vibrancy.  If we want to make progress toward true vibrancy and infill, we should limit the negative impact of FT's on the core's established restaurants. 

I don't want to see any entrepreneur fail, but IMHO it is worse for government to pick winners and losers in the marketplace.  Customer choices, good management and marketing should do that.  Limiting competition for favored businesses also limits choices for consumers.

I'm a DT resident and I'll be shocked if FT's have a detrimental effect on B&M's.  As strongly as I oppose further regulation of FT's DT, I have yet to patronize one and eat fairly regularly at DT B&M's.  I want DT to improve and prosper and I think less regulation not more is the road to prosperity.

icarus

March 09, 2014, 04:34:29 PM
The arguments offered by my friendly MJ persons, in my view, seems a little myopic.  I am concerned that we might make decisions based on simple thinking .. flawed thinking.  Everybody wants more people in the core.  But to assume that the single success of having more people visit the core to eat at the food trucks will produce long-term benefits, with no detriment to the prosperity and survivability of the B & M restaurants is to assume carelessly.  Although Art Walk and the Jazz Festival has offered temporary visitors to the core, there is little evidence of long-term building infill and the establishment of long-term vibrancy as a consequence of these events. 

Whereas the FT's, Art Walk, and the Jazz Festival bring people into the core on a temporary basis, it is only the FT's that have the potential to be destructive to the long term vibrancy of the core -- simply because, unless they do in fact bring into the core enough new visitors to support both the B & M restaurants "and" the FT's, there will be a net loss of restaurants occupying core buildings, and a net loss of new incoming B & M's into the core 

This same logic was used in drafting the peddler/vendor ordinance at the City of Jacksonville Beach.  The idea that allowing itinerant vendors or peddlers would destroy the local brick and mortar businesses.

Well, Jacksonville Beach is rethinking how they treat itinerant businesses specifically food trucks because they have found they fill a niche that is undeserved. I am not aware of any public uproar close to what I have seen on this topic from merchants at the beach.

I can think of no rational economic or sociological argument that would support the idea that food trucks are bad for downtown.  Really, the debate seems almost spurious.

ronchamblin

March 09, 2014, 04:36:13 PM
Quote
The arguments offered by my friendly MJ persons, in my view, seems a little myopic.  I am concerned that we might make decisions based on simple thinking .. flawed thinking.  Everybody wants more people in the core.  But to assume that the single success of having more people visit the core to eat at the food trucks will produce long-term benefits, with no detriment to the prosperity and survivability of the B & M restaurants is to assume carelessly...

Remarkable, that you don't see your own flawed thinking and seem unable to extend your logic beyond your incredibly biased perspective. I'm not going to pretend like your "reasonable" "components" have any basis other than your personal business interest, which I think you are too short sighted to see..."a rising tide raises all ships".

I'll urge you to talk about this in a way that is more personal to you, not in a way that pretends to be thoughtful of an overall economic environment. I don't buy it.


Actually, on this issue, I've not given a thought to my own business, as we are much less vulnerable to the impact of FT's as a consequence of being able to offer much more .. and differently -- tables inside and out, wi-fi, books, ambience, music, and me ;D  My concern, and I've stressed this repeatedly in my writing, is the long-term health of the core .... the effect of any legislation on the speed at which the core can proceed to vibrancy. 

My perspective is shaped by my perception of the overall economic scenario.  I am not overly concerned about my own business, as I have been able to compete well with competition as a consequence of my being able to make decisions allowing me continual growth for almost 40 years, while most of my competitors have gone under.  I have bought out at least seven book stores in the past ten years.  The conclusion by some, that my concern is personal, that my concern is only for my own business, is only a consequence the insertion of a component into the mix which has no validity at all.  My concern is for the existing B & M restaurants that "do not" have a broad mix to offer - such as books, a bookstore ambience, wi-fi, music etc.  These places have for the most part, only food. 

These B & M restaurants have invested in the downtown core with the expectation that they would indeed have competition, as they enjoy its impact upon the spirit and the will do do better, but only competition limited by the environment as structured by the surrounding buildings, in the surrounding blocks.  To expect them to survive and prosper by the "too close" intrusion of FT's, as allowed by legislation, would not only be an insensitive move by the city, but would be a form of treachery, as these B & M, cannot possibly prepare for, and endure, heavy competition from an excessive populate of FT's.  We should measure the probability that, if exposed to heavy impact by the FT's, these B & M's are likely to fail, one by one ... "unless" the presence of the FT's will actually draw enough new visitors into core so that there will be enough business for all.  Is this likely to occur?  What if it doesn't?  After some of the B & M fail, and we begin to see more empty buildings, do we then legislate control of the FT locations? 

If we genuinely want to revitalize downtown, there are more positive and sure methods of doing so than to encourage FT's to set up within close distance to existing B & M restaurants. 

I am not saying that we should ban FT's from the core.  I'm saying that we should control the amount of FT's, and the locations, so that they do not kill off the B & M ... so that we don't end up with more empty buildings, so that we do not end up having most of the food needs of the core being met by FT's. 

Again, "if" the food trucks do in fact draw more "visitors" into the core to eat ..... fine...... then all might be okay.  Will this happen though?  Perhaps the answer is to try, for perhaps six months, allowing a large number of food trucks into the core, and somewhat close to the B & M.  We can measure the results perhaps, and then make a permanent decision. 

thelakelander

March 09, 2014, 04:53:13 PM
At this point, there has been nothing presented that would suggest a decision of any sort needs to be made. There's been some fears expressed that lead to irrational solutions being recommended but nothing that can be proven slightly factual. Instead of seeking to restrict and further regulate the marketplace, let's try allowing it and our city to evolve and grow organically for a change.

edjax

March 09, 2014, 05:16:48 PM
Just a general question here as I really have no idea.  I am all for the food trucks and we have seen many comments about how food trucks are good based upon other cities for the downtowns of these cities. My question is in these cities did food trucks jump start the vibrancy of their downtowns or were they something that came along after the downtowns had already turned the corner and became more vibrant? 

JaxNole

March 09, 2014, 05:45:17 PM
If the Great Downtown Food Truck Invasion wiped out all the BMs, I mean, B&Ms, then the consumers have spoken. The owners of the B&Ms chose to invest, create and execute business and marketing plans, and operate Downtown. If those B&Ms are suffering financially (rather than perceiving a threat of financial loss), then maybe they should re-evaluate their product mix, business strategy, or even level of service.

ronchamblin

March 09, 2014, 05:52:18 PM
Just a general question here as I really have no idea.  I am all for the food trucks and we have seen many comments about how food trucks are good based upon other cities for the downtowns of these cities. My question is in these cities did food trucks jump start the vibrancy of their downtowns or were they something that came along after the downtowns had already turned the corner and become more vibrant? 

Interesting question edjax.  I will bet that the FT's did not jump start, but "jumped in", after significant vibrancy had been achieved. 

At this point, there has been nothing presented that would suggest a decision of any sort needs to be made. There's been some fears expressed that lead to irrational solutions being recommended but nothing that can be proven slightly factual. Instead of seeking to restrict and further regulate the marketplace, let's try allowing it and our city to evolve and grow organically for a change.

The ideal of the free marketplace sound good, and is very much the right avenue in many cases, but there are cases and times when it has been destructive to society and the economy.  Look at what "freedom" in the wall street and banking industry has produced.  It has allowed gross unfairness to exist, and produced one of the poorest economic conditions on record.  Freedom has produced inequality that is apt to bring us to our knees, perhaps to insurgency before it is over.

Look at the freedom of the twenties, with the resultant economic tragedy of the thirties -- corrected only by the initiation of a measure of "control" by FDR's administration. 

There is a time and place for freedom, and a time and place for a measure of control, guidance, and limitations of the extremes to which the passions of men tend to go.  And life seems not to be made for happiness, as in the immediate short-term profits of the FT's, but it is made for achievement, as in reaching the long-term goal of full vibrancy and infill in the core.

strider

March 09, 2014, 06:00:49 PM
There have been several flawed "components" listed by Mr Chamblin.  One is the assumption that B&M restaurants are going to be competing with "food trucks" like they have this huge advantage.  They don't.  They are simply different business model that may or may not be better than the one used by a B&M restaurant.  And food trucks can be as big as an investment as the B&M restaurant is.  The only advantage a FT would have over the B&M is mobility; the ability to move to a better location, like the Southside, if business does not justify being Downtown. 

Any business owner has to recognize the possibility that a competing business will move in right next store.  Any close store front can be a competing business.  The argument that an existing B&M business has some right to a distance between themselves and their competitors is simply ludicrous.

It may very well be that Food Trucks always in the Downtown Core will not do a thing for the vibrancy of Downtown.  I have no way of knowing that.  But what I do know, what I can see today for myself is that the existing B&M restaurants have not brought in the needed vibrancy nor will they ever on their own. 

Will the Food Trucks?  Again, I can't and don't know.  But what I can see is that we need a change.  That change is not the reduction of choices to keep folks downtown for lunch.  It is not the reduction of possibilities to get people to stay after work.  It is the influx of new things that will eventually lead to a more vibrant Downtown. 

ronchamblin

March 09, 2014, 06:14:49 PM
If the Great Downtown Food Truck Invasion wiped out all the BMs, I mean, B&Ms, then the consumers have spoken. The owners of the B&Ms chose to invest, create and execute business and marketing plans, and operate Downtown. If those B&Ms are suffering financially (rather than perceiving a threat of financial loss), then maybe they should re-evaluate their product mix, business strategy, or even level of service.

We've all heard of the occasion when an alien insect or varmint is injected onto a continent for the first time.  The result was sometimes quite destructive to some species native to the continent.  One could suggest that this was an act of treachery to the native animals destroyed as a consequence of the intrusion of the alien creatures.  Look what we Europeans did to the Native Americans -- by introducing decease, deception, and outright theft.   

In any case imbalance is introduced .. an unnatural condition is forced, with catastrophic consequences.

FT's are alien to the downtown core .. not natural .... and force a destructive imbalance.  Just as the native animals might not be able to compete with the alien species introduced, the B & M's might not be able to compete with the aggressive introduction of the FT's -- not because of the inability to meet the demands of quality in product and service, but simply because they would be forced to endure a theft of a customer base limited by the circumstances of the core. 

Again, the B & M opened with the expectation of a limited amount of competition -- "limited by the number and types of structures within their area".  For the city to disrupt this balance -- to force excessive competition to an area deficient in consumers, by inviting food trucks aggressively to close proximity of the B & M restaurants, is to engage in a form of treachery, and a breach of trust.  To expect the B & M's to take this theft of a limited customer base by FT's, is to expect too much ....  is to invite the failure of B & M's .. and increase the number of empty buildings in the core.

thelakelander

March 09, 2014, 06:22:13 PM
Just a general question here as I really have no idea.  I am all for the food trucks and we have seen many comments about how food trucks are good based upon other cities for the downtowns of these cities. My question is in these cities did food trucks jump start the vibrancy of their downtowns or were they something that came along after the downtowns had already turned the corner and become more vibrant? 

I think we make a huge mistake when we start equating single industries and trends as things that make or break downtown Jacksonville or any other city. There is no single one thing or magic bullet to jump start vibrancy or foot traffic.  It's a combination of several things. However, what most vibrant places have in general is personal creativity and innovation is allowed to flourish within a compact pedestrian scale setting. What dead environments have in common is they tend to be over regulated to the point where things can't work on a market rate level.

thelakelander

March 09, 2014, 06:23:43 PM
Just a general question here as I really have no idea.  I am all for the food trucks and we have seen many comments about how food trucks are good based upon other cities for the downtowns of these cities. My question is in these cities did food trucks jump start the vibrancy of their downtowns or were they something that came along after the downtowns had already turned the corner and become more vibrant? 

Interesting question edjax.  I will bet that the FT's did not jump start, but "jumped in", after significant vibrancy had been achieved. 

At this point, there has been nothing presented that would suggest a decision of any sort needs to be made. There's been some fears expressed that lead to irrational solutions being recommended but nothing that can be proven slightly factual. Instead of seeking to restrict and further regulate the marketplace, let's try allowing it and our city to evolve and grow organically for a change.

The ideal of the free marketplace sound good, and is very much the right avenue in many cases, but there are cases and times when it has been destructive to society and the economy.  Look at what "freedom" in the wall street and banking industry has produced.  It has allowed gross unfairness to exist, and produced one of the poorest economic conditions on record.  Freedom has produced inequality that is apt to bring us to our knees, perhaps to insurgency before it is over.

Look at the freedom of the twenties, with the resultant economic tragedy of the thirties -- corrected only by the initiation of a measure of "control" by FDR's administration. 

There is a time and place for freedom, and a time and place for a measure of control, guidance, and limitations of the extremes to which the passions of men tend to go.  And life seems not to be made for happiness, as in the immediate short-term profits of the FT's, but it is made for achievement, as in reaching the long-term goal of full vibrancy and infill in the core.
I wasn't talking about manipulating the market.  That's what placing regulation on something due to unproven fear and theory is.

thelakelander

March 09, 2014, 06:25:45 PM
FT's are alien to the downtown core .. not natural .... and force a destructive imbalance.

It's hard to even read the rest when a theory starts off with major assumption like this being presented as a fact.  how is a mobile vendor alien or unnatural to a downtown core?

thelakelander

March 09, 2014, 06:30:56 PM
Just a general question here as I really have no idea.  I am all for the food trucks and we have seen many comments about how food trucks are good based upon other cities for the downtowns of these cities. My question is in these cities did food trucks jump start the vibrancy of their downtowns or were they something that came along after the downtowns had already turned the corner and become more vibrant? 

Interesting question edjax.  I will bet that the FT's did not jump start, but "jumped in", after significant vibrancy had been achieved.

Since they are so popular nationwide, you can find countless examples. Portland would be a place that was already vibrant and has remained vibrant.  Tampa would be an example of a DT that suffers from everything DT Jax does but has embraced full blown rallies in its "Hemming Plaza-like" counterpart. At this particular point, I'd say that DT Tampa now has more going for it at this moment than DT Jax does. One thing all of these places have in common is that the trucks haven't killed their B&Ms or resulted in reducing DT vibrancy.

ronchamblin

March 09, 2014, 06:37:51 PM
There have been several flawed "components" listed by Mr Chamblin.  One is the assumption that B&M restaurants are going to be competing with "food trucks" like they have this huge advantage.  They don't.  They are simply different business model that may or may not be better than the one used by a B&M restaurant.  And food trucks can be as big as an investment as the B&M restaurant is.  The only advantage a FT would have over the B&M is mobility; the ability to move to a better location, like the Southside, if business does not justify being Downtown. 

Any business owner has to recognize the possibility that a competing business will move in right next store.  Any close store front can be a competing business.  The argument that an existing B&M business has some right to a distance between themselves and their competitors is simply ludicrous.

It may very well be that Food Trucks always in the Downtown Core will not do a thing for the vibrancy of Downtown.  I have no way of knowing that.  But what I do know, what I can see today for myself is that the existing B&M restaurants have not brought in the needed vibrancy nor will they ever on their own. 

Will the Food Trucks?  Again, I can't and don't know.  But what I can see is that we need a change.  That change is not the reduction of choices to keep folks downtown for lunch.  It is not the reduction of possibilities to get people to stay after work.  It is the influx of new things that will eventually lead to a more vibrant Downtown. 


Any business owner has to recognize the possibility that a competing business will move in right next store.  Any close store front can be a competing business.  The argument that an existing B&M business has some right to a distance between themselves and their competitors is simply ludicrous.

Thanks Strider -- That's the point.  And I repeat.  "The B & M's planned, invested, and opened with the EXPECTATION THAT THE NUMBER OF POSSIBLE COMPETITORS WOULD BE LIMITED BY THE AREA THEY CHOSE TO INVEST IN.  Yes ... as you say .... the business owner "does" recognize the possibility that a competing business will move right next door, or even four doors down -- but that business owner's plan did not include the possibility of there being a few mobile FT's, parasites if you will, capitalizing on the customer base he or she has built over the years.  That business owner should not be expected to share the customer base "unless" additional customer have been drawn into the area from outside by the presence of the FT's.  Will the new influx of consumers arrive?  Who knows at this time? 

In any case, the B & M is stuck in its place, contributing to the building infill objective.  The FT can move on any time to exercise its parasitic behavior upon another established market -- which is perhaps not as bad a factor in the suburbs, simply because there is more room to set up away from existing B & M.  But in the core, we should be cautious, as it is small, and fragile.  We could end up with more mobile FT's and fewer B & M's.

stephendare

March 09, 2014, 06:43:46 PM
Now the thread has gotten literally, ridiculous.

Parasites?  Because all of those customers 'belong' to a storefront?

All people who go into business know they are going to have to compete.  Thats really the end of the story.

If you don't like the open market, lease a space in a mall, which has riders in the lease regarding types and kinds of restaurants under a non compete clause.

Oh wait a minute.  Most of the malls are going out of business.

ronchamblin

March 09, 2014, 06:59:28 PM
FT's are alien to the downtown core .. not natural .... and force a destructive imbalance.

It's hard to even read the rest when a theory starts off with major assumption like this being presented as a fact.  how is a mobile vendor alien or unnatural to a downtown core?

If we are to agree that the primary essence of a vibrant downtown core must consist first of the B & M businesses, restaurants, and residents, filled to perhaps 90% capacity, then we might perceive the stability of,  the strength of, and the desirability of, having greater infill of core buildings.  The presence of FT's in the this kind of environment, wherein vibrancy has been achieved, would be welcomed, as there would be enough population to occupy all restaurants, including FT's. 

However, the presence of FT's in a weak core, one without sufficient permanent population, one wherein the B & M restaurants barely survive in a mediocre customer base -- could only be parasitic in consequence, and further weaken the existing B & M restaurants.  If we "must" have a change, as someone just posted, then it should be something other than a desperate attempt to do "something", even if it is wrong.  I had hoped we were over this inclination to do something .. anything ... just to do it.

What about vision for solid long-term goals .... about real sacrifice .... about choices not for fluff..... choices not for immediate gratification or profit ... choices not for immediate and fleeting visitors to the core?  How about strong leadership .. without political hogwash ... without favoritism to those who have the big bucks ...?

thelakelander

March 09, 2014, 07:02:20 PM
More assumptions being tossed into the mix.

We could end up with more mobile FTs and fewer B&Ms, except there's not one case anyone can find of this actually happening in the United States.

B&Ms only open in DT because they know there's limited competition? If this is truly the scenario, then the complaing B&Ms don't want a vibrant downtown Jax because vibrancy means probably five to ten times as much choice for the consumer and competition for individual businesses than what is currently present (even with the couple of food trucks occasionally coming downtown.

FT's are now parasites? Maybe it's just me but no single business is entitled to their own customer base.  If so, we should have provided legislation to save Morrison's Cafeteria, B Dalton Books, Hudson Motors, Zarye and  Montgomery Ward.

I seriously hope this isn't the type of argument CM Brown is listening too in order to craft his legislation.  There's enough holes here to sink the Titanic.

stephendare

March 09, 2014, 07:02:55 PM
The strength or weakness of any area lies not in the occupation rate of the real estate but the amount of customers, foot traffic and economic vitality.

That is the achilles heel of your argument Im afraid.  Limiting the amount of new businesses isnt going to bring more customers, and that is the true measure of health, sustainability and vibrancy.

If the handful of restaurants down there cant see their way to work together to be open at hours besides the two hour lunch rush, then another team of people can.  And more bluntly, should.

thelakelander

March 09, 2014, 07:09:10 PM
FT's are alien to the downtown core .. not natural .... and force a destructive imbalance.

It's hard to even read the rest when a theory starts off with major assumption like this being presented as a fact.  how is a mobile vendor alien or unnatural to a downtown core?

If we are to agree that the primary essence of a vibrant downtown core must consist first of the B & M businesses, restaurants, and residents, filled to perhaps 90% capacity, then we might perceive the stability of,  the strength of, and the desirability of, having greater infill of core buildings.

I don't agree that the primary essence of a vibrant downtown core must consist first of the B&M businesses, restaurants, and residents, filled to perhaps 90% capacity.  For all the education and professional planning experience I have, I've never heard of such a thing being put into standard practice.


Quote
The presence of FT's in the this kind of environment, wherein vibrancy has been achieved, would be welcomed, as there would be enough population to occupy all restaurants, including FT's. 

However, the presence of FT's in a weak core, one without sufficient permanent population, one wherein the B & M restaurants barely survive in a mediocre customer base -- could only be parasitic in consequence, and further weaken the existing B & M restaurants.

This is another assumption without any factual data to validate it. Tampa is an example of a city that has FT's in a core most would consider weak and one without a sufficient permanent population.  It still appears to be progressing and I still don't know of one business that has closed because of a guy selling braised pork tacos out of his truck.

Quote
If we "must" have a change, as someone just posted, then it should be something other than a desperate attempt to do "something", even if it is wrong.  I had hoped we were over this inclination to do something .. anything ... just to do it.

I agree. However, the desperate attempt is the attempt to legislate and restrict where no need to do such a thing has been remotely justified.

ronchamblin

March 09, 2014, 07:17:24 PM
Now the thread has gotten literally, ridiculous.

Parasites?  Because all of those customers 'belong' to a storefront?

All people who go into business know they are going to have to compete.  Thats really the end of the story.

If you don't like the open market, lease a space in a mall, which has riders in the lease regarding types and kinds of restaurants under a non compete clause.

Oh wait a minute.  Most of the malls are going out of business.

I am assuming of course, that we desire a vibrant city core, and guide my opinions to this end.  And yes, the FT's do engage in a measure of parasitic activity, sucking customers from a customer base as cultivated by the nearby B & M's restaurants.  Is this fair?  There must be a bit of unfairness in the core at least, although not so much in the suburbs, where there are more potential customers compared to the current weakened, partially desolate core. 

If there arrives upon the scene legislation giving excessive free reign to these parasitic FT's in the core, and if there are no more potential restaurant customers drawn in from the outside, we will see failure of more B & M, and fewer new B & M's opening in the core, and perhaps an increase of the parasites.  Is that what we want?  I thought the objective was to reduce the number of vacant buildings it he core -- a condition directly related to achieving vibrancy. 

Having high building infill is the goal .... by way of residents, offices, businesses, museums, retail, entertainment, and restaurants, and the achievement of this goal will "be" vibrancy, as "people' will be in, and visit these buildings.  To suggest that having FT's will, by encouraging temporary visitors to the core, "be" vibrancy is to miss the essence of vibrancy.  A city core vibrancy begins with solid building occupation and infill.  The FT's, coming at a later date, certainly can add to the vibrancy, but they will never jump start vibrancy.   

ronchamblin

March 09, 2014, 07:20:31 PM
Thank you for the debate exercise fellows..... really. I enjoy ... and I hope you do to.  We are making some progress I think.  I must do taxes.

stephendare

March 09, 2014, 08:31:52 PM
Now the thread has gotten literally, ridiculous.

Parasites?  Because all of those customers 'belong' to a storefront?

All people who go into business know they are going to have to compete.  Thats really the end of the story.

If you don't like the open market, lease a space in a mall, which has riders in the lease regarding types and kinds of restaurants under a non compete clause.

Oh wait a minute.  Most of the malls are going out of business.

I am assuming of course, that we desire a vibrant city core, and guide my opinions to this end.  And yes, the FT's do engage in a measure of parasitic activity, sucking customers from a customer base as cultivated by the nearby B & M's restaurants.  Is this fair?  There must be a bit of unfairness in the core at least, although not so much in the suburbs, where there are more potential customers compared to the current weakened, partially desolate core. 


cultivated?  What on earth are you talking about?

The majority of them close the minute lunch peak is over.

Thats not 'cultivation' thats coasting.

And how is it any different that a bookshop which decides to parasitically feed off of the crowds that have been 'cultivated' by actual restaurants?

edjax

March 09, 2014, 09:02:32 PM
How about a Boomtown Food Truck?  Yum!!!

stephendare

March 09, 2014, 10:30:02 PM
How about a Boomtown Food Truck?  Yum!!!

lol.  that would be crisp!  Seriously though, if you want boomtown food, John Allen is serving many of our dishes at the Fringe in Murray Hill!

ronchamblin

March 09, 2014, 11:09:49 PM
stephendare:  cultivated?  What on earth are you talking about?

The majority of them close the minute lunch peak is over.

Thats not 'cultivation' thats coasting.


I've wondered about the decision of many of the core restaurants to close after lunch.  Do most close because there are not enough customers, or because there are not enough customers traveling to the area because they know that most places close after lunch?  Subway on Monroe, and Quiznos on Hogan both stay open until 7:00 p.m. . closed on Sundays. 

I suspect that the reason they close is simply because staying open would produce only three or four customers between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. -- hardly enough to warrant staying open.  This gets to the fundamental issue of there being too few workers in the core, and too few residents who might wish to frequent core restaurants.

Seems that the restaurants almost have little choice, and cannot stay open because there is not enough foot traffic.

Apparently, other than Moran's La Cena and three or four others, not many core restaurants have a uniqueness to  "draw" people into the core.     

stephendare

March 09, 2014, 11:11:49 PM
stephendare:  cultivated?  What on earth are you talking about?

The majority of them close the minute lunch peak is over.

Thats not 'cultivation' thats coasting.


I've wondered about the decision of many of the core restaurants to close after lunch.  Do most close because there are not enough customers, or because there are not enough customers traveling to the area because they know that most places close after lunch?  Subway on Monroe, and Quiznos on Hogan both stay open until 7:00 p.m. . closed on Sundays. 

I suspect that the reason they close is simply because staying open would produce only three or four customers between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. -- hardly enough to warrant staying open.  This gets to the fundamental issue of there being too few workers in the core, and too few residents who might wish to frequent core restaurants.

Seems that the restaurants almost have little choice, and cannot stay open because there is not enough foot traffic.

Apparently, other than Moran's La Cena and three or four others, not many core restaurants have a uniqueness to  "draw" people into the core.     

must be all that 'cultivation'.  Or perhaps the bookstore 'cafes' drained them dry.

thelakelander

March 09, 2014, 11:38:19 PM
What allows Burrito Gallery, Big Pete's, Jenkins BBQ, Burger King, McDonalds, etc. to stay open longer?

stephendare

March 09, 2014, 11:39:10 PM
What allows Burrito Gallery, Big Pete's, Jenkins BBQ, Burger King, McDonalds, etc. to stay open longer?

desire for business.

I-10east

March 10, 2014, 02:37:51 AM
I'll say this much, and I'm not really against one (FT's) or the other (B&M's). Hypothetically, if DT was filled up with locally owned B&M's, and some Big Bad chain restaurant food trucks (Subway Quizno's etc) rolled through the core, suddenly we would be having a totally different conversation.

thelakelander

March 10, 2014, 06:27:13 AM
^I don't think so. Either you're for free market enterprise or you're not. Btw, I'm not against B&M's. Actually, I think it's pretty silly to attempt to pit them against one another. They are two specific segments of the food service industry. Sort of like Macy's and Forever 21 or the newspaper classifieds and craigslist.

BridgeTroll

March 10, 2014, 07:19:23 AM
I have yet to see this "Invasion of Food Trucks".  I mean besides events where food trucks are the attraction or events that require the services of food trucks.  Where is this invasion?  I might see a truck here or there... but certainly nothing that would constitute an invasion, infection, or parasitic infestation.

Perhaps Ron or someone with knowledge of this invasion could point out the infected sites so I might observe...  8)

thelakelander

March 10, 2014, 07:28:42 AM
This is the lunch scene in many downtowns across the country.  I wouldn't mind seeing something like this help activate dead downtown spaces like the area around the courthouse.  Judging from CM Brown and some of the B&Ms in downtown, it seems like they would really have a heart attack if a real food truck lot or park was established.



mbwright

March 10, 2014, 07:34:18 AM
Obviously Subway, and Quizno's are not the the big draws to downtown.  I could see a problem, if maybe all of the trucks were parked directly in front of the existing b&m 's, for 24/7, then it might be an issue.  Competition should bring about a better product. 

Noone

March 10, 2014, 08:10:28 AM
Where is the legislation now?
Jacksonville city council meeting tomorrow.
Remember 2010-856 and Downtown was exempt.

JaxNole

March 10, 2014, 08:43:55 AM
I am assuming of course, that we desire a vibrant city core, and guide my opinions to this end.  And yes, the FT's do engage in a measure of parasitic activity, sucking customers from a customer base as cultivated by the nearby B & M's restaurants.  Is this fair?  There must be a bit of unfairness in the core at least, although not so much in the suburbs, where there are more potential customers compared to the current weakened, partially desolate core. 
I frequented the food trucks while working at EverBank Center. I also ate at a number of B&Ms. I chose the food trucks because I can go to a Quizno's or Subway anywhere else in Jacksonville and their offerings are not unique.

Just because the Quizno's franchisee paid thousands to franchise and operate under the Quizno's business model does not mean competition should be stifled as a result of perceived unfairness. No food truck I've handed cash to served a product similar to Quizno's or other B&Ms.

If anything, the food trucks encouraged my suburban former colleagues to leave the office, on foot (thereby increasing foot traffic) to try the different options. Most were under the impression that walking around Downtown, regardless of time of day, was dangerous. The food trucks were the catalyst in changing their negative perceptions of Downtown, contributing to thriving business ventures' bottom lines.

tufsu1

March 10, 2014, 09:56:00 AM
In Tampa, they hold a monthly Mayor's Food Truck Rally downtown.  The events are well publicized and are often so busy that b&m establishments get increased business.  Perhaps this is a solution to the concern about the occasional food truck days at Hemming Plaza.

That said, I do somewhat understand the competition concern.  It is pretty common for shopping centers to have specific no-compete clauses for their leases.  So, for example, there wouldn't be 3 froyo places in the same strip.  The same has been and could be done in regards to food trucks. 

For example, the Pink Cupcake truck was out at Atlantic/Kernan (w/ Happy Grilled Cheese) on Saturday.  But they can't go where Happy Grilled Cheese goes on Sunday because that shopping center already has a bakery and their agreement with Sleiman doesn't allow it.   

BridgeTroll

March 10, 2014, 10:43:56 AM
In Tampa, they hold a monthly Mayor's Food Truck Rally downtown.  The events are well publicized and are often so busy that b&m establishments get increased business.  Perhaps this is a solution to the concern about the occasional food truck days at Hemming Plaza.

That said, I do somewhat understand the competition concern.  It is pretty common for shopping centers to have specific no-compete clauses for their leases.  So, for example, there wouldn't be 3 froyo places in the same strip.  The same has been and could be done in regards to food trucks. 

For example, the Pink Cupcake truck was out at Atlantic/Kernan (w/ Happy Grilled Cheese) on Saturday.  But they can't go where Happy Grilled Cheese goes on Sunday because that shopping center already has a bakery and their agreement with Sleiman doesn't allow it.   

Those are private agreements?  Not laws coming from city hall?

thelakelander

March 10, 2014, 10:46:39 AM
Correct.

Ocklawaha

March 10, 2014, 11:40:56 AM
IDEA!

Food Truckies and their owners should (Considering their likely to pass some antibusiness legislation anyway... We are all just noise after all) should petition that they be allowed at ALL BRT and fixed transit station areas. The Park and Ride at JTB, the downtown Rosa Parks and the Skyway at Jax Terminal, Kings Avenue, as well as the Avenue's Walk station, San Marco, Riverplace, and Central and Jefferson Stations.

thelakelander

March 10, 2014, 12:11:18 PM
This came up in a conversation at JTA the other week. I believe Portland is an example of a city that allows trucks to set up shop at their transit stations. When you think about it, that's a great amenity for transit users and a cheap way to encourage more riders to use existing transit facilities and services.

thelakelander

March 10, 2014, 01:11:17 PM
Jim Bailey: Food trucks help Downtown when handled well

Quote
Two weeks ago, we were in a Downtown Investment Authority meeting when our Chief Executive Officer Aundra Wallace said he needed to leave by 3 p.m. because of the meeting called by Council member Brown to discuss food trucks.

We immediately took a stance and voted in support of food trucks, with a caveat — when and where appropriate.

My first reaction was concern for what is commonly called the bricks-and-mortar restaurants and for the business owners who have been paying their dues and barely seeing a return on their investments in Downtown.

My second thought was why would we want to try to build a vibrant, exciting place without food trucks? They are fun, creative and useful.

But like water taxis, our first concern should be with our customers’ experience.

Can we utilize both to create an environment that will ensure they leave with a positive experience, have a variety of options and want to return for more?

full article: http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=542416

Ajax

March 10, 2014, 01:31:39 PM
Actually, on this issue, I've not given a thought to my own business, as we are much less vulnerable to the impact of FT's as a consequence of being able to offer much more .. and differently -- tables inside and out, wi-fi, books, ambience, music, and me ;D  My concern, and I've stressed this repeatedly in my writing, is the long-term health of the core .... the effect of any legislation on the speed at which the core can proceed to vibrancy. 

My perspective is shaped by my perception of the overall economic scenario.  I am not overly concerned about my own business, as I have been able to compete well with competition as a consequence of my being able to make decisions allowing me continual growth for almost 40 years, while most of my competitors have gone under.  I have bought out at least seven book stores in the past ten years.  The conclusion by some, that my concern is personal, that my concern is only for my own business, is only a consequence the insertion of a component into the mix which has no validity at all.  My concern is for the existing B & M restaurants that "do not" have a broad mix to offer - such as books, a bookstore ambience, wi-fi, music etc.  These places have for the most part, only food. 

Ron, please try and step back from your argument for a moment and read the quote from you that I've posted above.  These features that you offer at your bookstore and cafe are exactly why B&Ms have the ability to compete with the FTs.  FTs don't have these advantages, but they offer something different.  And quite frankly, Subway shouldn't be able to just hang up a Subway sign and have people flock to their shop - they should have to offer something to earn that business. 

If there aren't food trucks downtown, that doesn't mean that I'm suddenly going to want to have a sandwich from Subway.  It means that I'll probably bring my lunch with me to work, stay at my desk and eat lunch, and buy a book on Amazon.com, instead of walking past your bookstore on the way back from a FT and deciding to walk inside and see what new books have come in. 

BridgeTroll

March 10, 2014, 01:35:31 PM
Jim Bailey: Food trucks help Downtown when handled well

Quote
Two weeks ago, we were in a Downtown Investment Authority meeting when our Chief Executive Officer Aundra Wallace said he needed to leave by 3 p.m. because of the meeting called by Council member Brown to discuss food trucks.

We immediately took a stance and voted in support of food trucks, with a caveat — when and where appropriate.

My first reaction was concern for what is commonly called the bricks-and-mortar restaurants and for the business owners who have been paying their dues and barely seeing a return on their investments in Downtown.

My second thought was why would we want to try to build a vibrant, exciting place without food trucks? They are fun, creative and useful.

But like water taxis, our first concern should be with our customers’ experience.

Can we utilize both to create an environment that will ensure they leave with a positive experience, have a variety of options and want to return for more?

full article: http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=542416

Perhaps they should consider regulating Food Boats also...    :o ::)

TheCat

March 10, 2014, 04:29:46 PM
Quote
My perspective is shaped by my perception of the overall economic scenario.  I am not overly concerned about my own business, as I have been able to compete well with competition as a consequence of my being able to make decisions allowing me continual growth for almost 40 years, while most of my competitors have gone under.  I have bought out at least seven book stores in the past ten years.  The conclusion by some, that my concern is personal, that my concern is only for my own business, is only a consequence the insertion of a component into the mix which has no validity at all.  My concern is for the existing B & M restaurants that "do not" have a broad mix to offer - such as books, a bookstore ambience, wi-fi, music etc.  These places have for the most part, only food. 


Wow, exactly! Ron, it's like you are playing chess with your self. Good counter to everything else you have said. I'm blown away. 

Instead of devoting your energy to prohibiting food trucks why not devote your energy to making sure BM's learn to magnify the attributes FT's don't inherently have, like seating...or bathrooms...or air conditioning. Obviously, competing on food quality is too difficult for many downtown restaurants, which is why this sort of legislation is necessary?








ronchamblin

March 11, 2014, 09:04:04 AM
Jim Bailey's article was interesting, as it attempted to focus on the primary objectives necessary for productive dialogue.  I've attempted so far in the discussion, to relate what I consider to the be ultimate objectives affecting any legislative decisions. My intention has been to focus on the food truck issue primarily as it affects the city core, and not so much as it affects the outlying areas, because the core is more sensitive .. fragile..  to anything, whether legislation or economic injections or removals.

This discussion reminds me to the bumper stickers offering the term "PRO-LIFE", which automatically suggests that those who have opinions favoring abortion are "PRO-DEATH".  This makes me want to have a sticker saying "PRO-DEATH".  How can a sane individual be against LIFE ... or really want DEATH?  The sticker is of course nonsense, and suggests a slight shift to idiocy by those who encourage or display them. 

Just as the abortion issue deserves greater depth of communication than the bumper sticker, the food truck issue deserves more than saying that some want to "KILL THE FOOD TRUCKS".  Nobody wants to kill all the food trucks, but only some of them, some of the time, and in some places. ;D   

Why should one oppose these trucks when they add good food variety, convenience, interest, and color to an area -- along with drawing people into an area who might otherwise not come?  From the beginning of this discussion, my thinking has evolved somewhat, as I've digested good points offered by others.  We all change our thinking via discussions.  If we do not, then either we are dead right "all" of the time, which is impossible, or we are simply too bullheaded to listen to what others have said.

To restrict food trucks carelessly and excessively is to destroy an important segment of the natural dynamics of market driven forces which are at the heart of any economy .. at the heart of any community.  If the idea of banning or restricting food trucks is introduced in the first place -- why is it introduced? 

We are talking about limiting something which is natural to the economic environment, something that shapes the community according to the wishes and needs of the consumers in the community. So why would anyone wish to limit or restrict these food trucks, which provide good services, and meet the needs of the customers?

Total freedom for anything .... any system .... is good and productive, as it approaches the natural, and supposes that at work are the forces born as a consequence of the reality of whatever is being tested.  Freedom .. that beautiful word. 

Restriction .... control.... limitation .... Who is to limit or control....  and why?  Money perhaps?  Survival? Fear?  The unknown?

Or perhaps control, restriction, or limitation is the result of a community's recognition and acceptance of ultimate goals affecting all citizens over the long haul -- and that a measure of control or limitations to total freedom is needed to ensure the achievement of those goals.  It's called being prudent, using self-discipline in the immediate, to achieve quality and important objectives over the long haul. .... some rambling thoughts before work this morning .... 

Our objective always, and as related especially to our city core, should be to make decisions against immediate gratification, profits, or false and temporary vibrancy, especially if these decisions have even a moderate probability of impairing our efforts to maximize its long-term journey to vibrancy.  We must make decisions which encourage, and even tend to force progress toward core vibrancy. 

Our decade-long condition of stagnation is a symptom of our tendency to focus and invest on projects not valid or ultimately important regarding the path to vibrancy and infill.

An integral part of vibrancy, and a requirement for it, is building infill .. as building infill relates to more people ... which is the essence of vibrancy.  More building infill implies more residents, workers, restaurants, businesses, entertainment, retail, offices .... all of these ultimately bringing more people.. more density... more vibrancy.. all bringing more health and dynamism to the city core.

Brick and mortar Restaurants provide infill for buildings in the city core, and therefore they provide an increment of vibrancy to the city core.  These establishments are always under pressure to improve via the competitive environment, and are ready, when the core population increases, to increase their hours of operation .... and thus bring more life to the city core. 

Although the brick and mortar restaurants offer sufficient service to satisfy the current demand as shaped by the existing population of core workers and residents, they cannot meet the demand during special events.  Therefore, there should be full freedom for food truck setups during the special events.

Art Walk, the Jazz Festival, One Spark ... Food Truck Rallies .... Music Festivals ... all are special events, which should be opportunities to invite and encourage the presence of food trucks throughout the city core -- because there is enough business for all restaurants -- food trucks and the brick and mortar.

The degree to which mostly unrestricted and daily food truck set-ups in the city core will bring visitors into the core is unknown, and can only be determined via experiment.  If the people influx caused by the food trucks is sufficient, and on a daily basis, then the negative impact upon the existing brick and mortar restaurants will not be an issue, and therefore very little control over the food trucks, as related to the brick and mortar restaurants, will be necessary.   

If legislation allows an excessive population of food trucks to set up daily in the core, without much control or restriction, and to set up within close proximity to the existing brick and mortar restaurants, and if there is very little people influx of visitors into the city core to buy from the food trucks, then we will probably see, one by one, the failure of some of the brick and mortar restaurants. Additionally, the worsening business climate for any brick and mortar restaurant, produced by the food trucks, if it indeed worsens, will demand that potential new restaurant entrepreneurs open in the suburbs .. not in the core, where we desperately need them.

We are set to make decisions that, while seeming to introduce vibrancy by giving food trucks in the core almost total freedom, just might introduce a dynamic which will destroy current and potential new brick and mortar restaurants .. will increase building vacancies, and thus ultimately impede or reverse progress toward vibrancy and infill.

We must guard against the “candy” for immediate enjoyment, because it just might ruin our teeth so that we cannot chew and enjoy the good food twenty years in the future.

Food trucks should be allowed into the city core, as their presence adds considerable variety and life to it.  However, the locations, as related to the existing, “and open”, brick and mortar restaurants should be under a measure of control.  Food trucks should have unlimited access to the city core during any special events, and during “food truck rallies”.

We do not want to cause, by any means, the exit of any existing tenants in the core, especially via careless and insensitive legislation.  The journey to vibrancy includes more filled buildings, not fewer. Common sense must allow us to use a limited control.  History has shown the necessity of having measured control over totally free and unfettered capitalism.  To ignore this is to invite regression and regret.   



BridgeTroll

March 11, 2014, 09:23:45 AM
Quote
Although the brick and mortar restaurants offer sufficient service to satisfy the current demand as shaped by the existing population of core workers and residents,

If the above assumption was true... the truck would have very few customers and would move elsewhere.  The truth is... the B/Ms do not provide "sufficient service" (whatever that is)... hence the trucks.

You have not told me where the "excessive trucks" are located.  I have a hard time just finding one...  8)

thelakelander

March 11, 2014, 09:32:22 AM
I still don't see this as a B&M vs FT issue. Both and more can easily co-exist in the core and the burbs, just like they do in nearly every other decent sized city across the country. Legislation shouldn't restrict, it should make things clear to all parties and facilitate growth (which results in additional foot traffic, activating dead spaces/parks, creating new B&Ms, new jobs, etc.).


http://somaleadership.org/2011/08/04/11th-%E2%80%9Cstreat%E2%80%9D-gourmet-food-court-proposal-isnt-quite-dead-yet/

Ron, Speaking of the core specifically, where do you believe a grouping of food trucks (like +5 in one spot...see sketch above as example) would be suitable to set up and serve on a regular basis (if it got to that point). Hemming?  JTA Skyway Stations (Central, Rosa Parks, Kings Avenue, etc.)? Broad Street/Courthouse Lawn? Main & Forsyth?

Why or why not?

You have not told me where the "excessive trucks" are located.  I have a hard time just finding one...  8)

I've never seen a food truck court in DT. But I believe DT would benefit from having one to activate one of its many dead blocks and public spaces. Right now, trucks are pretty scattered.

ronchamblin

March 11, 2014, 10:03:02 AM
Quote
Although the brick and mortar restaurants offer sufficient service to satisfy the current demand as shaped by the existing population of core workers and residents,

If the above assumption was true... the truck would have very few customers and would move elsewhere.  The truth is... the B/Ms do not provide "sufficient service" (whatever that is)... hence the trucks.

You have not told me where the "excessive trucks" are located.  I have a hard time just finding one...  8)

I think there is a balance now, as set by years of operation.  If the demand was not being met, more brick and mortar restaurants would open.  Stability ... survival, exists ...  thus building occupation is stable .. regression on the journey to vibrancy does not yet exist.

To allow uncontrolled food truck entry into the core, to allow a disruption upon the stability that has existed, "without" the assurance of increased populations of hungry individuals, is to invite the failure of brick and mortar restaurants, to produce more building vacancies, and to set back efforts to achieve vibrancy in the core. 

I realize that there have been very few, to zero, food trucks in the core.. yet.  The phrase "excessive food trucks", refers to the future possibility of allowing too many into the core, and too close to the existing brick and mortar restaurants -- which, as I've said before, might be a measure of betrayal by the city of the brick and mortar operations, since they opened up in the core with the expectation that competition would be limited by the surrounding architecture, the buildings in the environment, and the population of workers, residents, and visitors.

And as I've said before, "if" the presence of a somewhat generous supply of food trucks were allowed into the core, and "if" their presence produced sufficient "visitor customers" from the outside, then obviously any possible negative pressure upon the brick and mortar would tend to be negligible -- and thus, all would be good.  However, who knows now "if" the food truck presence will be of sufficient draw to produce enough customers for both the trucks and the brick and mortar?  Perhaps we are due for a period of experimentation on this issue.  Why not encourage food trucks into the core for a specific number of weeks or months, and see what happens? 

BTW, "if" food trucks ever enter the core in reasonable number and frequency, one issue might the the lack of public restrooms in the core.  The brick and mortars have so far, and for the most part, been accommodating the fact that there is a lack of restrooms.  My restaurant is used by individuals throughout the day, who never purchase anything.  We, and other brick and mortars, must keep the restrooms supplied and clean.  "If" food trucks are allowed increasingly into the area, the city might want to supply some kind of restroom facilities in the area, as the brick and mortars cannot be expected to meet the needs of any increased demand for restrooms, especially when that demand does not include purchases from inside the brick and mortar operation.

ronchamblin

March 11, 2014, 10:11:59 AM
I still don't see this as a B&M vs FT issue. Both and more can easily co-exist in the core and the burbs, just like they do in nearly every other decent sized city across the country. Legislation shouldn't restrict, it should make things clear to all parties and facilitate growth (which results in additional foot traffic, activating dead spaces/parks, creating new B&Ms, new jobs, etc.).


http://somaleadership.org/2011/08/04/11th-%E2%80%9Cstreat%E2%80%9D-gourmet-food-court-proposal-isnt-quite-dead-yet/

Ron, Speaking of the core specifically, where do you believe a grouping of food trucks (like +5 in one spot...see sketch above as example) would be suitable to set up and serve on a regular basis (if it got to that point). Hemming?  JTA Skyway Stations (Central, Rosa Parks, Kings Avenue, etc.)? Broad Street/Courthouse Lawn? Main & Forsyth?

Why or why not?

You have not told me where the "excessive trucks" are located.  I have a hard time just finding one...  8)

I've never seen a food truck court in DT. But I believe DT would benefit from having one to activate one of its many dead blocks and public spaces. Right now, trucks are pretty scattered.

I have to admit Lake, that the idea of a food truck park or block sounds almost exciting, and should be perhaps a goal to which we can strive. 

As to the location ... perhaps we can experiment with a place currently vacant as you've said, perhaps creating within it various enhancements ... and restrooms.  Let's think about a location.  Of course, we can always experiment ... even with Hemming .... perhaps having two or three there.  Of course that would I suspect be the end of the current hot dog places ... perhaps not. 

I just don't know at present.  Perhaps we can experiment with a location .... where? All might think about an area.

Still .. I wonder about the overall long-term effects on primary goals for the core.

Must get to work.

 

thelakelander

March 11, 2014, 10:17:31 AM
As an urban planner and downtown worker, to me it would seem that the courthouse lawn or one of the Skyway stations would be decent spots. However, it's just a random thought that I'd like to hear people's opinions on.

CG7

March 11, 2014, 10:40:06 AM
I don't know if it is necessary to have food trucks at all the stations, all the time. I think Central, and San Marco stations 7 days a week (not 5 days) would be great, and maybe Hemming and Convention Center Stations on special occasions. Obviously the Court House every week day would be awesome too.

stephendare

March 11, 2014, 11:08:41 AM
I still don't see this as a B&M vs FT issue. Both and more can easily co-exist in the core and the burbs, just like they do in nearly every other decent sized city across the country. Legislation shouldn't restrict, it should make things clear to all parties and facilitate growth (which results in additional foot traffic, activating dead spaces/parks, creating new B&Ms, new jobs, etc.).


http://somaleadership.org/2011/08/04/11th-%E2%80%9Cstreat%E2%80%9D-gourmet-food-court-proposal-isnt-quite-dead-yet/

Ron, Speaking of the core specifically, where do you believe a grouping of food trucks (like +5 in one spot...see sketch above as example) would be suitable to set up and serve on a regular basis (if it got to that point). Hemming?  JTA Skyway Stations (Central, Rosa Parks, Kings Avenue, etc.)? Broad Street/Courthouse Lawn? Main & Forsyth?

Why or why not?

You have not told me where the "excessive trucks" are located.  I have a hard time just finding one...  8)

I've never seen a food truck court in DT. But I believe DT would benefit from having one to activate one of its many dead blocks and public spaces. Right now, trucks are pretty scattered.

I have to admit Lake, that the idea of a food truck park or block sounds almost exciting, and should be perhaps a goal to which we can strive. 

As to the location ... perhaps we can experiment with a place currently vacant as you've said, perhaps creating within it various enhancements ... and restrooms.  Let's think about a location.  Of course, we can always experiment ... even with Hemming .... perhaps having two or three there.  Of course that would I suspect be the end of the current hot dog places ... perhaps not. 

I just don't know at present.  Perhaps we can experiment with a location .... where? All might think about an area.

Still .. I wonder about the overall long-term effects on primary goals for the core.

Must get to work.

 

Right afterwards can we plan a used book district?  One that wont compete with the library?  After all, its a huge investment that we have to protect.

stephendare

March 11, 2014, 11:10:35 AM
Quote
Although the brick and mortar restaurants offer sufficient service to satisfy the current demand as shaped by the existing population of core workers and residents,

If the above assumption was true... the truck would have very few customers and would move elsewhere.  The truth is... the B/Ms do not provide "sufficient service" (whatever that is)... hence the trucks.

You have not told me where the "excessive trucks" are located.  I have a hard time just finding one...  8)

Again, the State Department is still issuing visas to visit Bullhockey, Analtopia so that you can examine the solid examples yourself.

strider

March 11, 2014, 12:14:45 PM
One issue I see here is that we are missing some important facts.  One is how many people get into their cars and drive to lunch outside of the urban core on a daily basis? How many of the X number of total workers actually go out and buy their lunch on a daily basis?  Another is which current B&M restaurants are truly solvent and will be there in the next year or two?

Ron and this ordinance are taking a protectionist stance here and if we as a city do that, if we restrict food trucks to protect the existing B&M restaurants, then we also deserve to know if they are and will remain solvent to deserve that protection.  Will Ron and Cena's , for instance, post their business tax returns? (I wouldn't).  So, we could pass the protection laws and still end up with no B&M restaurants DT.

Without knowing the actual numbers of potential clientele DT, how do we know if the existing B&M facilities are indeed providing what is needed.  Common sense says they are not as we see DT folks going to other locations.

Of course, protectionism never works well anyway.  It stifles creativity and locks in the status quo.  If ATT, for instance, was the only phone company ever allowed in existence in the USA, would we still be talking on black rotary dial phones?  Maybe.  Why make progress if the clients must use your service.  This is, of course, why there are laws against gaining a monopoly in a market segment.  Look closer to reality at JEA and Comcast.  Without competition, there is no incentive to provide real customer service.  So you end up arguing with them and often losing because, hey, where else can you go?

The bottom line seems to be that if the existing ideas for DT, if the existing B&M facilities were capable of adding new vibrancy to DT, they would have already done it.  It takes new and creative ideas to move DT forward and food trucks are but one of those ideas that are needed.

stephendare

March 11, 2014, 12:32:01 PM
I think separating the businesses into this false 'B&M' vs Food Truck dichotomy buys into the propaganda.

They are all businesses, and they have the simple right to operate in the city that we all share.

People like Moran and the like are able to tilt the game boards in their favor by creating 'us vs. them' schisms and by making divisions and separations, but in reality we all have to work together, and trust in the invisible hand of the market if we are to succeed at all.

The success and failure of something so marvelous and complex as a city is too important to rest of the private fortunes of a handful of insiders.  It has to be decentralized, organic and profitable for the widest number of people in the most unforeseen kinds of ways.

Look at the smoking ruins of the commercial strip in springfield where ten years ago one of the most exciting cultural and entertainment hubs in the city was thriving for an example of this kind of mentality.

The neighborhood had a similar phalanx of sour faced, mortgage frauding, sanctimonious tribal warfare makers managed to 'improve' it and 'save' it right out of existence.

edjax

March 11, 2014, 12:56:35 PM
As an urban planner and downtown worker, to me it would seem that the courthouse lawn or one of the Skyway stations would be decent spots. However, it's just a random thought that I'd like to hear people's opinions on.

Is there enough space on the walkway they built connecting the Landing area with Bay St?  Seems like that would be a decent place if space as some shade cover and they would not be right outside the door of any B&M establishment. 

ronchamblin

March 11, 2014, 09:11:53 PM
If the food truck heroes wish to invest in and operate a restaurant business, and wish to compete with fairness in the marketplace, let them jump in solid via the brick and mortar establishment, thereby adding a huge asset to the core.  This will perhaps be a little more risky than the food truck, and will perhaps require the bravest of these heroes, but it will be more challenging to the spirit, and will certainly fill one more space or building in the core -- something the core sorely needs .. something directly related to a journey toward vibrancy. 

Since our primary objective is to achieve full vibrancy and infill in the core, and not simply to make the biggest cash pile as possible for the moment, the heroes who actually invest in a brick and mortar operation will contribute in a huge way to this movement toward vibrancy. 

Of course some of these restauranteurs might wish to simply “do” the food truck restaurant, as it suits them better.  It is likely that any new core related legislation will determine the degree to which these food truck heroes can actually engage the parasitic life style in the core, an engagement which might be more in line with their character.  They can leave the greater challenges to their friends, perhaps former food truck persons, who choose the much more core-beneficial brick and mortar investment.

Food truck operations fill many things, like mouths and pocketbooks.  But brick and mortar operations fill mouths, pocketbooks, “and” buildings too -- the latter being something food trucks, if not regulated, can empty.

Keith-N-Jax

March 11, 2014, 09:33:36 PM
As many have said already, if you are worried about a food truck you shouldn't be in business to begin with. Sigh, this city has such a long way to go.

fieldafm

March 11, 2014, 09:40:53 PM
This is getting to the point that my opinion of Chamblins is taking a sharp turn in a different direction, sadly.

Food trucks are selling about $300-450 on a typical lunch. If this is somehow 'unfair' when your space has amenities like seating, climate control, alcohol sales and cover from the rain... then your business doesn't need protecting, it needs a combination of new mgmt and new products.

Charles Hunter

March 11, 2014, 10:19:13 PM
+1  ^

ronchamblin

March 12, 2014, 03:41:47 AM
As many have said already, if you are worried about a food truck you shouldn't be in business to begin with. Sigh, this city has such a long way to go.

This discussion is not about competition.  To continue to suggest that I or anyone fears competition is to belittle this conversation.  Personally, competition gives me energy .. gets me up in the morning.  This discussion is about achieving something worthy, something big, such as solid movement towards a vibrant downtown core.  Competition is the best dynamic in most systems.  My business has grown for almost four decades because I've benefited from the spirit of competition.  Hell, most of my competition in the book business has gone under.  Bring on the competition.   I shall do my best to destroy it.  No, my friend, Keith/Jax I do no engage this subject as a consequence of being afraid of competition.  Bring on the food trucks.  Bring on the bookmobiles and bookstores. 
 
My concern is that we continue to meander along in mediocrity, as we've done for three decades concerning our journey to core infill and vibrancy.  There is a time when any system requires guidance ... tweaking.  That's where a perceptive and determined mayor usually steps in ..  and other leaders, such as in the city council, to provide insight and guidance to an environment weakened and partially destroyed decades ago ..  guidance to an environment which has not been able to achieve a return to robust health via total freedom.  Obviously, total freedom to everything in the core cannot be trusted, as it has not yet produced anything substantial regarding the journey to core health, infill, and vibrancy.   

Government is ideally best when it allows total freedom to the people, so that they engage each other and the marketplace as they wish.  And if we were in the fortunate condition wherein our city core was robust and filled with businesses, offices, museums, condos, apartments, entertainment, thriving restaurants and bars .. with a density which makes for a beautiful city -- there would be no words from me about limitations or controls on anything, including food trucks. 

Freedom is best in any system which is healthy and efficient, simply because its robustness assures functions to perpetuate its health and efficiency.  But look around you, and you will notice a certain weakness in the core, in fact, a profound emptiness of most buildings ... a stagnation which has existed for decades.  The time for insensitive, naive, and useless shouts for freedom to anything that moves or wants to move in the city core should be over, as the ideal of freedom has done little for the core as of yet.  Now is the time for reflection about what has been going on in the core, and to decide if measured guidance is needed to ensure that the core moves toward the goal of vibrancy at a respectable rate .... hell, at any rate.   

There seems to be two aspects currently being used to measure quality or vibrancy in the core.  One is simply the number of people in the core, made up of workers and residents and visitors; and the other is building infill; that is, building occupancy. 

Building occupancy is king.  It is one of the most reliable measurements as to the vibrancy of a city core.  I hope that makes sense to most people in this discussion.  If it doesn’t, I’m wasting my time, and should be sleeping at this time of morning.  In other words, buildings are occupied by “people”.  And people provide the essence of a vibrant and robust city core.  Therefore, our objective should be to cause more occupation of core buildings, and certainly not to empty the buildings currently occupied.   

The number of visitors into a core, although important, are occasional and temporary.  But more important, the visitors offer less impact to vibrancy simply because they are not tied directly and necessarily to permanent building infill.  This is where the idea of food trucks, and their impact upon core vibrancy, both now and in the future, is to be questioned.

It is accepted that food trucks will bring some customers into the core, from outlying areas, but the degree to which this will occur is unknown at present.  I suspect that the draw will not be as much as some are assuming.

But, what of these visitors to food trucks, from outlying areas?  How do they impact what is “king” to the measurement of core vibrancy -- building occupancy?  Do visitors to core positioned food trucks, from outlying areas, add directly and substantially to core building infill?  Or do they, by supporting food trucks, somehow lessen the pressure for building infill?  Do they, by supporting food trucks, tend to cause more occupations of buildings, or do they tend to cause more empty buildings?  Given no other pressures, what is the tendency, as offered by visitors supporting food trucks?  Any rational person would have to admit that, if a tendency is present, it is one of emptying already occupied buildings in the core, and to encourage that no new buildings be occupied.

Bottom line.  We should encourage the opening of brick and mortar restaurants, and not discourage them from opening by allowing food trucks the run of the core.  We should focus on what is king to achieving revitalization.  That king is called building occupancy.

We should, as Lake has offered, entertain the idea of having one or two food truck parks in or on the edge of the core.  This will provide an experiment as to their impact, while also providing great food variety for customers, no matter their origin.

Any problem having complexities, if one is attempting to solve it, can sometimes be difficult simply because the specific causes of the problem are unknown.  The problem solver then sometimes grabs at straws, trying anything, applying various pressures, hoping that solution will come.  Well, the complexities involved in bringing revitalization to the city core are many, apparently most being unknown, as we've not made significant progress so far.  Therefore, one must resort to applying continual pressure, of any and all kinds if they hold promise to be effective, to encourage progress to the goal of revitalization. 

That pressure can be come in many forms. It can be constant education to the suburban citizens as to how a vibrant city core will benefit them too.  It can be the implementation of solid tax incentives for small businesses to open in the core.  It can be continual efforts to reduce crime and vagrancy in the core.  It can be a continual program to sell the core to investors.  It can be continual pressure to solve the parking problem, or if there is none, to educate people to this fact.  And from the mayor's office, it can be a constant education focused on council members as to the important of shifting some of the burden of core revitalization costs to the suburbs. 

Well, having reasonable restrictions on potentially core damaging entities from the outside, is the application of just another pressure, always present, to ensure that the journey to revitalization is not impaired by allowing thoughtless conditions of total freedom to anything that wants to make a profit, no matter the consequences to major goal of the city.

Building occupancy is king.  It tells the story of where we are on the journey to a healthy and vibrant city.  I suggest we do not allow anything to apply pressure to empty buildings, but only to fill them.   

 

         

thelakelander

March 12, 2014, 06:42:31 AM
As many have said already, if you are worried about a food truck you shouldn't be in business to begin with. Sigh, this city has such a long way to go.

This discussion is not about competition.  To continue to suggest that I or anyone fears competition is to belittle this conversation.  Personally, competition gives me energy .. gets me up in the morning.  This discussion is about achieving something worthy, something big, such as solid movement towards a vibrant downtown core.  Competition is the best dynamic in most systems.  My business has grown for almost four decades because I've benefited from the spirit of competition.  Hell, most of my competition in the book business has gone under.  Bring on the competition.   I shall do my best to destroy it.  No, my friend, Keith/Jax I do no engage this subject as a consequence of being afraid of competition.  Bring on the food trucks.  Bring on the bookmobiles and bookstores. 
 
My concern is that we continue to meander along in mediocrity, as we've done for three decades concerning our journey to core infill and vibrancy.  There is a time when any system requires guidance ... tweaking.

This isn't really the situation though.  It's just what you're trying to turn it into by unilaterally placing a responsibility and burden on a single segment of the food service industry when there's no solid proof that this segment is creating a problem to begin with. While there's proof that the industry has spurred new B&M, jobs and excitement in local enterprises, there's no valid proof of this industry harming the core or anything else. However, assumptions are being presented as truths while ignoring the actual statistical and real life results. Thus, these assumptions seem to masking an unfounded fear. What's next, cracking down on hot dog vendors?

If this is really about achieving something worthy, something big, such as solid movement towards a vibrant downtown core, let's make it that.  Redoing Hemming, adding public restrooms in public spaces, lighting the streets, keeping the streets clean, expanding mass transit connectivity to adjacent neighborhoods, doing something with the Landing, bringing Amtrak back downtown, COJ getting rid of excess DT property, etc. is where such a discussion should be focusing on.  Not taking out a guy making $400 a day selling pork belly sandwiches out of a truck.

BridgeTroll

March 12, 2014, 06:47:38 AM
Quote
That's where a perceptive and determined mayor usually steps in ..  and other leaders, such as in the city council, to provide insight and guidance to an environment weakened and partially destroyed decades ago .. 

And THIS is the group you are hitching your wagon to?  I oppose your version of protectionism in the guise of "vibrancy". 

IrvAdams

March 12, 2014, 12:51:48 PM
Reminder, this meeting is today. The location has been changed. This information was copied from the Online City Council Calendar:

March 12, 2014

3:30 pm


City Hall

117 W. Duval St., 1st Floor
Lynwood Roberts Room

The location of this meeting has been changed to the Lynwood Roberts Room.

 Notice is hereby given that Council Member Reginald Brown will hold a meeting on Wednesday, March 12th at 3:30 p.m. in the Lynwood Roberts Room located at 117 West Duval Street, 1st floor, City Hall St. James Building. This meeting is the first of several to discuss and draft legislation for Food Trucks, all Council Members and interested parties are invited to attend.

And here is the link:
http://www.coj.net/city-council/events.aspx

thelakelander

March 12, 2014, 01:11:54 PM
Reggie Brown wants to craft 'landmark' food truck legislation

Quote
When City Council member Reggie Brown proposed a draft bill to regulate food trucks, the blowback from the mobile restaurateurs and supporting community was immediate.
Today, Brown and at least 25 others will review the draft ordinance line by line — adding parts here, crossing out parts there — to craft what he calls “landmark legislation” on the issue.

“I’m giving them a chance to put it in their hands,” Brown said Tuesday. “The goal is to create legislation that we can all live with.”

Any issues that generate large discussion will be set aside for future meetings.

Brown said he isn’t anti-food truck. Instead, he said he’s concerned about public safety and accountability.

Quote
He said the criticism aimed at him about the legislation mostly has died down when people realized he wasn’t against the industry. But, brick-and-mortar restaurants still have concerns, mostly Downtown.

“We don’t have the foot traffic Downtown,” he said. “The perception is (food trucks) were taking away patrons.”

In response, Brown said he will separate the issue into citywide, special events and Downtown portions and ask the Downtown Investment Authority to handle the urban core area.

full article: http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=542449

tufsu1

March 12, 2014, 02:32:52 PM
Was talking with the folks at Super Food Truck today...apparently 15+ food truck people will be at the meeting

stephendare

March 12, 2014, 06:23:22 PM
If the food truck heroes wish to invest in and operate a restaurant business, and wish to compete with fairness in the marketplace, let them jump in solid via the brick and mortar establishment, thereby adding a huge asset to the core.  This will perhaps be a little more risky than the food truck, and will perhaps require the bravest of these heroes, but it will be more challenging to the spirit, and will certainly fill one more space or building in the core -- something the core sorely needs .. something directly related to a journey toward vibrancy. 

Since our primary objective is to achieve full vibrancy and infill in the core, and not simply to make the biggest cash pile as possible for the moment, the heroes who actually invest in a brick and mortar operation will contribute in a huge way to this movement toward vibrancy. 

Of course some of these restauranteurs might wish to simply “do” the food truck restaurant, as it suits them better.  It is likely that any new core related legislation will determine the degree to which these food truck heroes can actually engage the parasitic life style in the core, an engagement which might be more in line with their character.  They can leave the greater challenges to their friends, perhaps former food truck persons, who choose the much more core-beneficial brick and mortar investment.

Food truck operations fill many things, like mouths and pocketbooks.  But brick and mortar operations fill mouths, pocketbooks, “and” buildings too -- the latter being something food trucks, if not regulated, can empty.

shame on you this entire argument Ron.

Either we regulate competing food businesses out of business or downtown will fail?

Bullshit.

This is literal upside down thinking.

This is not the problem with downtown. If you spent half this energy being open during the hours where the terrible homeless people, the parking nazis and the one way streets, the 10 dollar maximum, and one hour window of lunch business arent a factor there would be no 'threat' from food trucks.

The real problems making business so hard downtown is NOT from competition.  Boomtown did better than most of the restaurants downtown and my problem with being located in the neighborhood was not competition with the four other food options in my building alone.

Even in springfield, the problem wasnt competition---and boomtown had a literal copycat competitor open up with more (although it was all borrowed) money up front us two blocks away.  The competition didnt hurt the occupancy of any of the buildings around us.  In fact it was the opposite.  Between us and Henriettas/9th and Main we brought so many thousands of people that the neighborhood blosssomed around that energy.  What killed main street wasnt 'competition'  What caused Boomtown to close in springfield wasnt unfairly competitive businesses, like um...Epicurean or the theatre project at Craig's place, or the Pizza place that opened down the block. Or Moe's or the Jazz performances at Carl's  or......you name it ma.  All that 'invasion' of 'experimental businesses' made a suddenly dynamic district that brought people from all over town besides springfield that were willing to spend money in an area that they didnt live or conduct their professional business in.

What killed main street was the attempt to control it and the price of leases that would only allow a certain kind of corporate customer to survive.  Combined with an overreliance on a few key real estate dealers and the big freaking crash that locked those idiots into having to charge more for rent than anyone in the economy could afford or they reneged on their burdensome loans on bubble based sales.

Five points, which I was also a part of (and you weren't) succeeded in the same way as springfield when there was energy and life on Main Street.  Through 'competition' (also known as liveliness.) which had this weird effect of bringing the thing that actually helps makes something 'vibrant':  People.

No disrespect intended, but while you know how to make a book business work, and you have a nice place that many people find enjoyable and adds to the downtown, but someone literally doesn't know what the f*%^ they are talking if they have convinced you with this bizarre theory about what makes an urban area vibrant or makes a district work. You should stop listening to the, because they are idiots.

Downtown is a toxic small business environment, and we are not going to improve that by making it more toxic, and any rationalization to the contrary is just self interested foolishness.

IrvAdams

March 12, 2014, 07:47:34 PM
I was at the first committee meeting this afternoon regarding food trucks. There were about 25 people in attendance and maybe 7 or 8 city representatives from various departments, and a couple of DIA folks.

It was very participatory, and the audience was quite involved. A lot of people stood up to talk, and everybody had time to be heard. The FT folks worked with Mr. Brown and the city people and they basically went through the entire original proposal and adjusted or deleted all the nuisance language and tight restrictions that were objectionable to the FT operators. It was a good compromise and seemed agreeable to everybody.

They are planning on meeting again in a couple weeks.

thelakelander

March 12, 2014, 08:07:39 PM
Thanks for the update!

Keith-N-Jax

March 12, 2014, 08:37:51 PM
Yes thanks for the update.

ronchamblin

March 12, 2014, 08:42:10 PM
Quote
That's where a perceptive and determined mayor usually steps in ..  and other leaders, such as in the city council, to provide insight and guidance to an environment weakened and partially destroyed decades ago .. 

And THIS is the group you are hitching your wagon to?  I oppose your version of protectionism in the guise of "vibrancy". 

Thanks Lake and stephendare, for the feedback and criticism.  It allows me to move closer to what might be a better opinion about any food truck legislation related to the core.  After I address BT, I shall respond to you both. 

BT / BravoTango / _...   _    , I don't mean to suggest that any current mayor, or set of council members, can be depended upon to produce the most effective decisions to achieve infill and core vibrancy.  I only suggest that these office holders are in the best position to affect the best decisions.  I imagine the ideal, which would include a strong and determined mayor, and a group of council members able to focus on the important long term goal of bringing our city core to one of density and vibrancy.  But .. no absolutely, I am not hitching my wagon to the current group.  There is hope however.  Sometimes office holders change.  I can see by your last statement that I've failed to make clear my position, and the cause of it.

So, let me ask you a question BT.  Is it true that a city core having say, 500 buildings within it, would be considered more vibrant, more "normal", more robust, more "complete"; that is, revitalized, if 480 of those buildings were fully occupied, and that the core would not be considered as having these desirable qualities, and not revitalized .. mostly desolate, if only 200 of the buildings were occupied?   

I will anticipate that your answer will be "yes" because I suspect that you will understand that a building is occupied by people, and further, that both the occupied buildings, and the people living and working within them, provide two fundamental conditions which allow us to determine the level of desolation or vibrancy that exists in a city core.  We can measure a city core's level of revitalization and vibrancy simply by determining the ratio of occupied buildings within the core,to the entire population of buildings in the core.  Ninety-five percent building occupancy would I suspect, allow most to judge that a city core has returned to full infill, and thus, a revitalized and vibrant condition.

Before I continue BT, can you, if you have the time, let me know if you agree with my statements above, and if you do not, can you enlighten me as to my errors.   

thelakelander

March 12, 2014, 08:49:24 PM
Quote
So, let me ask you a question BT.  Is it true that a city core having say, 500 buildings with it, would be considered more vibrant, more "normal", more robust, more "complete"; that is, revitalized, if 480 of those buildings were fully occupied, and that the core would not be considered as having these desirable qualities, and not revitalized .. mostly desolate, if only 200 of the buildings were occupied?

Ron, I think the problem with many identifying with comments or statements like this is that they have nothing to do with food trucks. No proof has been presented locally or in any other community across the country that would suggest that food trucks result in closed restaurants and decline of downtown environments. Until that type of material surfaces, major assumptions and tales are being stretched to connect them together.

ronchamblin

March 12, 2014, 09:13:54 PM
Quote
So, let me ask you a question BT.  Is it true that a city core having say, 500 buildings with it, would be considered more vibrant, more "normal", more robust, more "complete"; that is, revitalized, if 480 of those buildings were fully occupied, and that the core would not be considered as having these desirable qualities, and not revitalized .. mostly desolate, if only 200 of the buildings were occupied?

Ron, I think the problem with many identifying with comments or statements like this is that they have nothing to do with food trucks. No proof has been presented locally or in any other community across the country that would suggest that food trucks result in closed restaurants and decline of downtown environments. Until that type of material surfaces, major assumptions and tales are being stretched to connect them together.

I appreciate and digest your line of thinking Lake.  However, please be patient with me as I present my case.  There are times when solutions and the right decisions arrive via the assimilation of what is known, with sound logic.  Some problems are unique, and thus cannot be solved by 100 % reliance on history.  Besides, the evidence you speak of, or the absence of it, is perhaps vague at most, and certainly is not recorded with the accuracy as presented in rigid experiments.  I hesitate to rely excessively on statements such as "there is no evidence".  Therefore, I must take a different tack to problem solving.

Eventually, you will discover that my statements are quite related to the issue of food trucks in the core.  Let's see if BT is going to answer my question.  :) 

Charles Hunter

March 12, 2014, 09:24:35 PM
So, Ron, no Food Trucks until there are 500 fully occupied buildings downtown?  Do you have any minimum standards on how big those 500 buildings have to be?  One-story bungalows?  Burj-Dubai clones, all?

ronchamblin

March 12, 2014, 09:45:24 PM
They should be at least four story buildings, and at least 100 feet by 100 feet, and each should have a whorehouse in the basement. 

Charles Hunter

March 12, 2014, 09:51:33 PM
oooh, nice touch (so to speak)

thelakelander

March 12, 2014, 10:27:38 PM
Halting progress, more meetings ahead for bill regulating Jacksonville food trucks

Quote
Over about two and a half hours, truck operators and city officials read a 10-page draft ordinance line-by-line, debating the need for the city to set rules about subjects ranging from truck parking to whether food that’s sold could be frozen for later use.

Parts of the bill were scrapped completely, such as language about trucks not receiving electricity or water from fixed buildings.

Parts of the bill were eyed for strengthening, so that insurance requirements for truck operators were suggested to rise from $200,000 to $1 million. That was tabled so a city risk-management administrator could be consulted first.

full article: http://members.jacksonville.com/news/metro/2014-03-12/story/halting-progress-more-meetings-ahead-bill-regulating-jacksonville-food

ronchamblin

March 12, 2014, 10:56:52 PM
"I just want to know where we can park,” Kline said, noting vendors are often unsure about the city’s rules for them."

The above was also in the article.

Just as rules can be unfair and excessive as a consequence poor understanding of the dynamics involved, so can their absence, for the same reasons.

The discussion on this forum should offer a tendency to clarify important aspects of the issues surrounding the food trucks in the core.

Well .... I guess Bravo Tango isn't going to answer my question. :(  Oh well.

thelakelander

March 12, 2014, 11:11:40 PM
I could be wrong but I don't believe trucks can legally set up and serve on public streets. If CM Brown wants regulations for further clarity, the legislation should allow them to under certain circumstances.

tufsu1

March 12, 2014, 11:21:23 PM
oooh, nice touch (so to speak)

:)

BridgeTroll

March 13, 2014, 06:59:57 AM
"I just want to know where we can park,” Kline said, noting vendors are often unsure about the city’s rules for them."

The above was also in the article.

Just as rules can be unfair and excessive as a consequence poor understanding of the dynamics involved, so can their absence, for the same reasons.

The discussion on this forum should offer a tendency to clarify important aspects of the issues surrounding the food trucks in the core.

Well .... I guess Bravo Tango isn't going to answer my question. :(  Oh well.

Lol... sorry Ron... unlike most I try to limit my "online" life.  I much prefer face to face interaction and therefore turn off devices at various times.

The answer to you question is of course ...True.  Of course this answer literally has nothing to do with "Mobile food vendors".  These vendors are a part of life in every city around the world.  They add vibrancy... they add choice... they add competition... they add employment... they add a touch of creativeness and whimsy not otherwise found during our dreary boring workdays.

You and others are attempting to legislate against a problem a few seem to percieve but really does not exist.  There is no evidence that I am aware of that shows the trucks are a detriment to business downtown.  In fact... some of the B&Ms downtown seem to embrace and encourage the trucks. 

You have presented theories and lengthy dissertations full of assumptions... but no more.

Bridges

March 13, 2014, 07:24:10 AM
Some problems are unique, and thus cannot be solved by 100 % reliance on history.  Besides, the evidence you speak of, or the absence of it, is perhaps vague at most, and certainly is not recorded with the accuracy as presented in rigid experiments.  I hesitate to rely excessively on statements such as "there is no evidence".

This should become Jacksonville's motto.  It's a great line of thought for why we keep shooting ourselves in the foot.

ronchamblin

March 13, 2014, 09:19:21 AM
Thanks BT.  At work now.  Will get back to you.  Have a super day.

IrvAdams

March 13, 2014, 09:27:26 AM
I could be wrong but I don't believe trucks can legally set up and serve on public streets. If CM Brown wants regulations for further clarity, the legislation should allow them to under certain circumstances.

Lake,

This specific restriction was mentioned and talked about at yesterday's committee meeting with the FT operators; it spawned some good ideas and further discussion from both sides. Details have not been worked out yet.

Keith-N-Jax

March 13, 2014, 10:07:26 AM
Some problems are unique, and thus cannot be solved by 100 % reliance on history.  Besides, the evidence you speak of, or the absence of it, is perhaps vague at most, and certainly is not recorded with the accuracy as presented in rigid experiments.  I hesitate to rely excessively on statements such as "there is no evidence".

This should become Jacksonville's motto.  It's a great line of thought for why we keep shooting ourselves in the foot.



Post of the day!!

stephendare

March 13, 2014, 10:19:11 AM
Some problems are unique, and thus cannot be solved by 100 % reliance on history.  Besides, the evidence you speak of, or the absence of it, is perhaps vague at most, and certainly is not recorded with the accuracy as presented in rigid experiments.  I hesitate to rely excessively on statements such as "there is no evidence".

This should become Jacksonville's motto.  It's a great line of thought for why we keep shooting ourselves in the foot.

ok.  this was a remarkably funny post.  thanks bridges.

IrvAdams

March 13, 2014, 11:04:52 AM
Another article on yesterday's Food truck meeting:

http://news.wjct.org/post/city-officials-food-truck-operators-discuss-regulations#.UyG1w5lqDus.twitter

Lunican

March 13, 2014, 01:28:07 PM
Quote
Today, Brown and at least 25 others will review the draft ordinance line by line — adding parts here, crossing out parts there — to craft what he calls “landmark legislation” on the issue.

So 25 downtown business owners were dealing with this tedium instead of running their businesses.

stephendare

March 13, 2014, 01:56:24 PM
Quote
Today, Brown and at least 25 others will review the draft ordinance line by line — adding parts here, crossing out parts there — to craft what he calls “landmark legislation” on the issue.

So 25 downtown business owners were dealing with this tedium instead of running their businesses.

yes.  welcome to a repeat of SPAR's nuclear annihilation of Main Street

BridgeTroll

March 13, 2014, 02:00:42 PM
Quote
Today, Brown and at least 25 others will review the draft ordinance line by line — adding parts here, crossing out parts there — to craft what he calls “landmark legislation” on the issue.

So 25 downtown business owners were dealing with this tedium instead of running their businesses.

yes.  welcome to a repeat of SPAR's nuclear annihilation of Main Street
Think of it as... regulations to promote vibrancy and infill...

stephendare

March 13, 2014, 02:03:30 PM
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

George Orwell

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doublethink

Doublethink is the act of ordinary people simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts. Doublethink is related to, but differs from, hypocrisy and neutrality. Somewhat related but almost the opposite is cognitive dissonance, where contradictory beliefs cause conflict in one's mind. Doublethink is notable due to a lack of cognitive dissonance — thus the person is completely unaware of any conflict or contradiction.

tufsu1

March 13, 2014, 02:54:20 PM
Quote
Today, Brown and at least 25 others will review the draft ordinance line by line — adding parts here, crossing out parts there — to craft what he calls “landmark legislation” on the issue.

So 25 downtown business owners were dealing with this tedium instead of running their businesses.

actually many of those are food truck people

BridgeTroll

March 13, 2014, 03:02:30 PM
Quote
Today, Brown and at least 25 others will review the draft ordinance line by line — adding parts here, crossing out parts there — to craft what he calls “landmark legislation” on the issue.

So 25 downtown business owners were dealing with this tedium instead of running their businesses.

actually many of those are food truck people

No doubt... I am sure they would rather be stealing other peoples customers...

thelakelander

March 13, 2014, 03:35:06 PM
Unfortunately, they're almost forced to be there instead of work.  If someone is actively trying to create legislation to harm the thing that keeps your lights on, food on your table, and a roof over your family's head, one of the best things you can do is to attempt to have a seat at the discussion/lobbying table before shit hits the fan.

ronchamblin

March 13, 2014, 09:14:33 PM
Bill Gulliford's comments about the food truck issue allows me to understand that he is more of a politician than I had suspected -- a typical politician .... which disappoints me.  I was hoping for a tendency to leadership, and not to political show.

In any case, I can see that most everyone is against almost everything I say regarding the food truck issue.  A momentum of emotion ... a crowd mentality ...   has shaped a solid front against anything I say.  I find it difficult to understand how can so many people be wrong. ;D

Many seem to assume I am against food trucks in general, even though I've attempted to clarify that I am only concerned about the quantities, locations, and hours in the core -- along with the solution as to restrooms. 

I will rest, so I can determine how best to proceed in my effort to enlighten these emotional individuals to my actual position on the food truck issue.

thelakelander

March 13, 2014, 09:43:19 PM
^I don't see your argument as against food trucks.  To me, it comes off more as a lack of understanding how the dynamics of urban revitalization works and being in close contact with neighboring B&M restaurant owners who fear consumers having more choices in downtown of where they can spent their money at.

Keith-N-Jax

March 13, 2014, 10:26:31 PM
I will rest, so I can determine how best to proceed in my effort to enlighten these emotional individuals to my actual position on the food truck issue.

What are you, the elf lady from Lord of the rings?

ssky

March 14, 2014, 12:55:34 AM
What are you, the elf lady from Lord of the rings?

No...he's Yoda.

"Rest I need. Yes, rest."

ronchamblin

March 14, 2014, 12:57:59 AM
I never saw the film or films.  Hope these are good creatures.

ronchamblin

March 14, 2014, 01:00:25 AM
Actually I meant .. rest my case.

 


ronchamblin

March 14, 2014, 02:48:58 AM
From BT .. (the green type)

Lol... sorry Ron... unlike most I try to limit my "online" life.  I much prefer face to face interaction and therefore turn off devices at various times.

Don't know who you are.  That's good, as my ignorance allows focus only on the ideas at hand.

The answer to your question is of course ...True.  Of course this answer literally has nothing to do with "Mobile food vendors".  These vendors are a part of life in every city around the world.  They add vibrancy... they add choice... they add competition... they add employment... they add a touch of creativeness and whimsy not otherwise found during our dreary boring workdays.

Thank you BT.  We have your agreement so far on the first point.  You did say ... "true".  So, let's move on to the next objective, which is to get you to admit that the food trucks are very much related to the first point.

Your comment saying that "These venders are a part of life in every city gourd the world." is very true.  And ... as you say, they do add vibrancy, choice, competition, employment, creativity, in an otherwise boring environment in which we work. I totally agree with all of what you are saying.  But there is more to the story ... and that "more", will show you that the scenario is much like one giving a tasty soup for another to eat.  The one enjoying the soup wants more, all the while not realizing that there is small doses of poison within.  You and others wish to poison, not intentionally, but by ignorance that the soup recipe ... somehow...  has poison within.       

You and others are attempting to legislate against a problem a few seem to percieve but really does not exist.  There is no evidence that I am aware of that shows the trucks are a detriment to business downtown.  In fact... some of the B&Ms downtown seem to embrace and encourage the trucks. 

And me and others wish to enlighten you and others .... so that you can perceive.  It is not as simple as saying that the "trucks are a detriment to business downtown."  Their existence in the core is not the issue, as I actually "want" the trucks in the core.  Again, me and others actually see the benefit to the core by having these trucks.  But the quantities, locations, and the times for their existence "is" the issue.  My objective is to illustrate why I and others hold this opinion.

You have presented theories and lengthy dissertations full of assumptions... but no more.

Call them theories, or lengthy.  Call them assumptions.  The only way I know to have a discussion is to digest the opinions of others, to weigh them, and then to offer ideas for consideration by my fellow debaters.  Should I remain silent?

I think that, although the specific issue on this thread, according to the title, concerns the food trucks -- it concerns much more than some are willing to admit.  I always accept the possibility that I might be wrong in much of what I say.  But I cannot believe I am wrong until somebody can convince me of it by way of sound argument.  To say that I am a fu*kg nut will not do.  To say that I am an idiot will not do.  To ban me from the forum will not do.

My concern is fundamentally the state of the core.  We have all seen ... and let's admit it ... the relative stagnation over recent decades.  The lack of significant movement toward vibrancy means that either it is impossible, or that there exists some fundamental causes -- perhaps habits of thinking by many involved -- for the lack of movement. 

The food truck issue involves more than statements like: "Food Trucks add choice and competition, and satisfy customer demand for variety."  Of course they do.  But there is more to the story.  And that's why I am engaging BT in further discussion. 

Many are saying that freedom for food trucks is what is needed, as we have  a free market economy, and that anyone not wishing freedom for the trucks is simply afraid of competition.  Sounds good .. but is it all good, or is bad mixed within?There is more to it.   

If excessive freedom is given to the food trucks in the core, we will see just one more mistake, as tendered by our city council and mayor .... and by all those wishing for total freedom for the trucks. The mistake will exist via a lack of perception as to the consequences of total freedom.  The mistake will further impede any efforts for progress in the journey to real vibrancy.  The mistake will provide candy for the immediate, but perpetuate a silent and hidden disease over the long run.

But it is not enough to simply say that total unrestrained food trucks in the core would be a mistake.  One must convince others of it, via solid argument.  That is why I began the specific discussion with BT. 

I think that basically, the individuals on both sides of the argument are assuming that their opponents want the extremes of either full freedom, or heavy restrictions.  And these assumptions are causing a rise of emotions, which ultimately tends to impair logic and one's ability to perceive the opponent's position.  As with most things in life, the middle ground is the answer ... moderation is the solution.  There cannot be total freedom, nor can there be total or heavy restrictions. 

I doubt if anyone wants total freedom regarding food truck quantity, locations, and times.  I doubt if anyone wants a total ban of food trucks.  As for me, I "want" food trucks in the core, whether spaced strategically and individually in certain locations, or in "food truck parks".  However, I realize the danger to the core's progress toward revitalization, if we allow excessive freedom to the food trucks.  And this realization is why I engage the subject.

Rest. zzzzzzzzz


   

   

BridgeTroll

March 14, 2014, 06:44:03 AM
Ron...

You have often refered to arguments against your position as emotional.  Mine certainly is not... And I am quite sure Lakelanders position is not either.  Anyway...  there was a meeting Wednesday and am anxious to see the revision of the horrendous first draft of the regulations.

http://members.jacksonville.com/news/metro/2014-03-12/story/halting-progress-more-meetings-ahead-bill-regulating-jacksonville-food
Quote
Over about two and a half hours, truck operators and city officials read a 10-page draft ordinance line-by-line, debating the need for the city to set rules about subjects ranging from truck parking to whether food that’s sold could be frozen for later use.

As proof of my "non emotional" stance... I will reserve further comment until I see this or future revisions.  If the parties involved can come to an amicable agreement then all should be happy.  8)

Charles Hunter

March 14, 2014, 06:59:19 AM
I doubt if anyone wants total freedom regarding food truck quantity, locations, and times.  I doubt if anyone wants a total ban of food trucks.  As for me, I "want" food trucks in the core, whether spaced strategically and individually in certain locations, or in "food truck parks".  However, I realize the danger to the core's progress toward revitalization, if we allow excessive freedom to the food trucks.  And this realization is why I engage the subject.

Rest. zzzzzzzzz

What restrictions on "food truck quantity, locations, and times ... in the core" do you propose?
How many Food Trucks should there be?
More basic - what are boundaries of "the core"?
What locations would be allowed, or prohibited?
Should they be "X" feet from a Brick and Mortar"  How far is "X"?
What times would FT be allowed or prohibited?  Prohibited during lunch hour?
Where would you put a Food Truck Park?

If you only talk in generalities about how much of a threat food trucks pose to downtown (not just the brick and mortar restaurants), and toss in "I want food trucks in the core" without specifics of what is acceptable to you - it comes across as being against them all.

Did you participate in Councilman Brown's meeting this week?

thelakelander

March 14, 2014, 08:13:20 AM
This Jax Daily Record article makes it sound like most complaints about food trucks are coming from downtown B&Ms:

Quote
Food trucks win longer hours, can set up near homes after long meeting

..............

The part about how close the vendors can be to brick-and-mortar restaurants drew more spirited debate, with one person saying the city shouldn’t deal with the competitive nature of the businesses.

That issue is still outstanding and Brown is seeking input heading up to the next meeting March 24, where he said he wants to hear from brick-and-mortar business owners, none of whom attended Wednesday.

Brown said he wanted the Downtown Investment Authority to decide how food trucks are regulated in the urban core. CEO Aundra Wallace told the crowd the authority’s board is working on a redevelopment plan and is looking at best practices for the vendors in the area.

“We have got to have a balancing act,” he said.

As for the city as a whole, there have not been an overwhelming number of complaints to the city, but regulations with city code “is certainly is an area that needs to be cleaned up,” said Mel Cook, city regulatory compliance coordinator. “The city always wants to work with them and we want to encourage these businesses,” Cook said.

full article: http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=542456

JaxByDefault

March 14, 2014, 08:41:53 AM
DIA's primary concern shouldn't be restricting food trucks downtown, it should be studying why when they go brick-and-mortar, they all open in Riverside. Food trucks that later open fixed locations have created over a hundred jobs here in Jacksonville (Corner Taco, Pele's, Blind Fig/Rabbit, etc.) Perhaps DIA would be better off scrapping their "balancing act" approach for a wholistic approach that would keep truck-to-table businesses downtown for the long-haul.

BridgeTroll

March 14, 2014, 08:52:53 AM
DIA's primary concern shouldn't be restricting food trucks downtown, it should be studying why when they go brick-and-mortar, they all open in Riverside. Food trucks that later open fixed locations have created over a hundred jobs here in Jacksonville (Corner Taco, Pele's, Blind Fig/Rabbit, etc.) Perhaps DIA would be better off scrapping their "balancing act" approach for a wholistic approach that would keep truck-to-table businesses downtown for the long-haul.



Truck turned B&M...

Quote
Corner Taco owner Chris Dickerson, who honed his culinary skills at four-star restaurants in several states, started serving up gourmet tacos in 2011 at a Neptune Beach bar, before renovating a classic 1965 Airstream Globetrotter into a food truck featuring what he lovingly refers to as “semi-swanky street food.”
 
Three short years later, the Airstream is parked in the side lot as Dickerson runs his brick and mortar restaurant — taking orders from behind the counter, checking on the crew’s progress in the kitchen, and buzzing around the dining room greeting customers. A line forms at the counter during peak lunch and dinner times, but it appears to move quickly, and the food seems to be coming out fast as well.

http://members.jacksonville.com/entertainment/food-and-dining/2014-03-12/story/restaurant-review-semi-swanky-fare-arrives-five

tufsu1

March 14, 2014, 09:58:21 AM
DIA's primary concern shouldn't be restricting food trucks downtown, it should be studying why when they go brick-and-mortar, they all open in Riverside.

Super Food Truck has signed a tentative deal to take over the old Starbucks space in 11E....but they are still trying to get in on a space closer to the Florida Theatre

thekillingwax

March 14, 2014, 02:42:46 PM
http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/14/news/companies/quiznos-bankruptcy/

DAMN YOU FOOD TRUCKS! DAMMNNNN YOUUUUU! LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE!

Scrub Palmetto

March 14, 2014, 02:58:13 PM
DIA's primary concern shouldn't be restricting food trucks downtown, it should be studying why when they go brick-and-mortar, they all open in Riverside. Food trucks that later open fixed locations have created over a hundred jobs here in Jacksonville (Corner Taco, Pele's, Blind Fig/Rabbit, etc.) Perhaps DIA would be better off scrapping their "balancing act" approach for a wholistic approach that would keep truck-to-table businesses downtown for the long-haul.

I wonder how perspectives would differ between existing B&Ms downtown and these, if located downtown, given that they were once food trucks themselves. How would they feel about the "threat" of other trucks now that they've joined the ranks of the "threatened" B&M crowd?

ronchamblin

March 15, 2014, 01:31:05 AM
I doubt if anyone wants total freedom regarding food truck quantity, locations, and times.  I doubt if anyone wants a total ban of food trucks.  As for me, I "want" food trucks in the core, whether spaced strategically and individually in certain locations, or in "food truck parks".  However, I realize the danger to the core's progress toward revitalization, if we allow excessive freedom to the food trucks.  And this realization is why I engage the subject.

Rest. zzzzzzzzz

What restrictions on "food truck quantity, locations, and times ... in the core" do you propose?
How many Food Trucks should there be?
More basic - what are boundaries of "the core"?
What locations would be allowed, or prohibited?
Should they be "X" feet from a Brick and Mortar"  How far is "X"?
What times would FT be allowed or prohibited?  Prohibited during lunch hour?
Where would you put a Food Truck Park?

If you only talk in generalities about how much of a threat food trucks pose to downtown (not just the brick and mortar restaurants), and toss in "I want food trucks in the core" without specifics of what is acceptable to you - it comes across as being against them all.

Did you participate in Councilman Brown's meeting this week?


Don't mean to be gone so long.  Been sorta trapped via some workers being out.

Actually, I didn't attend the meeting, as I usually don't do well at them, or around lots of people.  Perhaps I can make the next meeting ... if I have enough workers back to cover me.   

First .... your questions as to what are the boundaries of the core?  Well ...for the time being, and for this issue, how about from the river, north to Union, and east-to-west from Liberty to Jefferson or even, Davis Street?  I refer to this area because this seems to be the "old" area of the core, where most vacant buildings are located.  Of course there are vacant buildings further out, but I suspect that most are concerned, for now, about the vacant buildings "and vacant lots/parking lots" in this central area.

How many food trucks should there be?  That would depend on the decisions as to how close they are allowed to the existing B & M restaurants.  Theoretically, if the distance (X) were set at 500 feet, this could, during the period from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., limit the FT's to perhaps two to three "in the old core area outlined above".  This should allow sufficient protection for the invested B & M's in the core area. 

Anyone not understanding why protection is needed does not understand some critical points about overall objectives concerning the core.  There is more to it than "competition".  Nobody is "afraid" of the competition from the FT's.  It is simply that allowing free reign to food trucks in the old core area is not aligned with the goal of furthering genuine and sustained vibrancy in the core.  Why and how can this be, the myopic will ask... saying  ....."But FT's fill customer demand ....  let the customers decide." 

Are we trying to fill core buildings?  Or are we trying to empty them?  Are we trying to achieve fundamental goals as related to basic essences of sustained vibrancy -- which "is" building occupancy -- or are we going to allow, as happens too often, "fleeting profits to a very few" to overwhelm decisions for the good of the core community at large -- specifically, the long-term journey to genuine vibrancy and building occupancy in the core?

You ask .. What locations are to be allowed, or prohibited.  Of course, this will be determined by the outcome as to the question of how close the FT's will be allowed to set up as related to the B & M's.

The question you ask about the potential locations of the food parks is interesting, as it prompts me to think seriously that this concept might be helpful to the whole problem.  Why not, in addition to the two or three FT's allowed in the core via the 500 foot distance, have, on the outskirts, one or two food truck parks, each having three or four trucks operating within the park?  As to location?  Surely there is a vacant lot somewhere that would be appropriate. 

This arrangement would allow the food truck operators to get their feet wet in the restaurant business "so as to prepare themselves for making a real investment in the core, which is to open a brick and mortar location in the core -- to occupy a vacant building or space."

After all, "the" primary goal is to somehow add building occupancy in the core.  I am confident that  carelessly generating legislation which allows food trucks too high numbers, too close to brick and mortars, and at competing hours, will not only destroy motivation for new brick and mortar restaurants to open and occupy empty buildings in the core, but will tend to empty those currently occupied.

Having said all the above, I wish to enter an unknown factor, which might, if it is of sufficient value, counter my argument above.  The factor relates to the question.... Will the food trucks, if allowed in greater quantity than most are proposing, and allowed much closer to existing brick and mortars ......  bring into the core, "customers" who would not normally visit the core?  If FT's in fact "do" bring sufficient new customers into the core, then my argument is less valid, as the net result will allow the brick and mortar restaurants to survive as a consequence of their being enough customers for all restaurant operations, both B & M, and the FT's.  And this possible balanced scenario will not be a loss of building occupancy in the core.

But ... will the food trucks bring in sufficient customers from outlying areas, so that "all" proposed restaurants can survive?     

Outside of the hours of say... 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. the restrictions to food truck locations could be much less, as most of the brick and mortar operations will have closed.  Why do they close up?  To survive perhaps.  I'm sure that some of these restaurants have experimented with opening into the evening, and discovered that, for now, to do so is a significant loss.  I suspect that they are ready, when and if more residents and visitors are in the core as potential customers, they will experiment again with late hours.

Special Events?  Surely, all will want to give free reign to food trucks during special events.  It makes sense.  The brick and mortars simply cannot handle the demand.  And this condition will not provide continual pressure to empty more buildings in the core -- as would be the case if careless legislation does not properly regulate the food trucks.   

Summary ... I do like the idea of limited individual food trucks in the core, and encourage perhaps one or two food truck parks (three to five trucks each) in an outlying area .. perhaps in an empty lot.
       


   

ronchamblin

March 15, 2014, 01:36:19 AM
DIA's primary concern shouldn't be restricting food trucks downtown, it should be studying why when they go brick-and-mortar, they all open in Riverside. Food trucks that later open fixed locations have created over a hundred jobs here in Jacksonville (Corner Taco, Pele's, Blind Fig/Rabbit, etc.) Perhaps DIA would be better off scrapping their "balancing act" approach for a wholistic approach that would keep truck-to-table businesses downtown for the long-haul.

I wonder how perspectives would differ between existing B&Ms downtown and these, if located downtown, given that they were once food trucks themselves. How would they feel about the "threat" of other trucks now that they've joined the ranks of the "threatened" B&M crowd?

Bingo.  I have some allies in my thinking. Whoever you are .... thank you both  :) Perhaps I'm not a practicing idiot after all.

fieldafm

March 15, 2014, 08:30:47 AM
DIA's primary concern shouldn't be restricting food trucks downtown, it should be studying why when they go brick-and-mortar, they all open in Riverside. Food trucks that later open fixed locations have created over a hundred jobs here in Jacksonville (Corner Taco, Pele's, Blind Fig/Rabbit, etc.) Perhaps DIA would be better off scrapping their "balancing act" approach for a wholistic approach that would keep truck-to-table businesses downtown for the long-haul.

I wonder how perspectives would differ between existing B&Ms downtown and these, if located downtown, given that they were once food trucks themselves. How would they feel about the "threat" of other trucks now that they've joined the ranks of the "threatened" B&M crowd?

I can answer that. Every one of the food truck owners who either already had a B&M before adding a food truck, or had a food truck and 'graduated, if you will' to a food truck.. have all come out in support of food trucks at any public meetings in the fight to bring food trucks to Jax Beach or this latest 'effort' by Reggie Brown. Even B&M's that don't have food trucks have come out in support.

Downtown's largest landlord of restaurants (Jacksonville Landing), has also supported food trucks downtown.

ronchamblin

March 15, 2014, 09:01:23 AM
DIA's primary concern shouldn't be restricting food trucks downtown, it should be studying why when they go brick-and-mortar, they all open in Riverside. Food trucks that later open fixed locations have created over a hundred jobs here in Jacksonville (Corner Taco, Pele's, Blind Fig/Rabbit, etc.) Perhaps DIA would be better off scrapping their "balancing act" approach for a wholistic approach that would keep truck-to-table businesses downtown for the long-haul.

I wonder how perspectives would differ between existing B&Ms downtown and these, if located downtown, given that they were once food trucks themselves. How would they feel about the "threat" of other trucks now that they've joined the ranks of the "threatened" B&M crowd?

(from ronchamblin)   Bingo.  I have some allies in my thinking. Whoever you are .... thank you both  :) Perhaps I'm not a practicing idiot after all.


I can answer that. Every one of the food truck owners who either already had a B&M before adding a food truck, or had a food truck and 'graduated, if you will' to a food truck.. have all come out in support of food trucks at any public meetings in the fight to bring food trucks to Jax Beach or this latest 'effort' by Reggie Brown. Even B&M's that don't have food trucks have come out in support.

Downtown's largest landlord of restaurants (Jacksonville Landing), has also supported food trucks downtown.


Mr. fieldafm ... forgive me please, but it sounds like claims having rather questionable support from reality ....... attempts to convince, by way of offering rhetoric having a very weak base.  Your attempts to avoid the essence of the issue is showing.  ;)



Charles Hunter

March 15, 2014, 09:22:57 AM
I guess a basic question is - what does the current law allow? Where, downtown, can food trucks set up now?
 I was under the impression R. Brown's original bill was to restrict FT locations, not allow them to go someplace they can't go now.

stephendare

March 15, 2014, 09:50:49 AM
DIA's primary concern shouldn't be restricting food trucks downtown, it should be studying why when they go brick-and-mortar, they all open in Riverside. Food trucks that later open fixed locations have created over a hundred jobs here in Jacksonville (Corner Taco, Pele's, Blind Fig/Rabbit, etc.) Perhaps DIA would be better off scrapping their "balancing act" approach for a wholistic approach that would keep truck-to-table businesses downtown for the long-haul.

I wonder how perspectives would differ between existing B&Ms downtown and these, if located downtown, given that they were once food trucks themselves. How would they feel about the "threat" of other trucks now that they've joined the ranks of the "threatened" B&M crowd?

Bingo.  I have some allies in my thinking. Whoever you are .... thank you both  :) Perhaps I'm not a practicing idiot after all.

I didnt realize that you were still just practicing, at least on this issue.

edjax

March 15, 2014, 10:43:42 AM
I see where Quiznoes has filed for bankruptcy.  I see our food trucks are casting a wide net of heartache. 

JaxByDefault

March 15, 2014, 06:13:41 PM
I'm not sure we're on the same page, ronchamblin. I don't think restricting food trucks in the urban core is a good idea at all. Letting food trucks be food trucks is what helped them be profitable, popular, and led to new brick-and-mortar locations. Density of options is a good thing. If brick-and-mortar were so unprofitable compared to food trucks, then so many food truck businesses would not later open brick and mortar locations.

My point is that DIA should be more invested in helping food trucks, letting food trucks be profitable, and then encouraging/helping food trucks that want to open brick-and-mortar locations stay downtown. Protectionist legislation for existing restaurants is not a beneficial job creator in the long run.

fieldafm

March 15, 2014, 06:22:20 PM
DIA's primary concern shouldn't be restricting food trucks downtown, it should be studying why when they go brick-and-mortar, they all open in Riverside. Food trucks that later open fixed locations have created over a hundred jobs here in Jacksonville (Corner Taco, Pele's, Blind Fig/Rabbit, etc.) Perhaps DIA would be better off scrapping their "balancing act" approach for a wholistic approach that would keep truck-to-table businesses downtown for the long-haul.

I wonder how perspectives would differ between existing B&Ms downtown and these, if located downtown, given that they were once food trucks themselves. How would they feel about the "threat" of other trucks now that they've joined the ranks of the "threatened" B&M crowd?

(from ronchamblin)   Bingo.  I have some allies in my thinking. Whoever you are .... thank you both  :) Perhaps I'm not a practicing idiot after all.


I can answer that. Every one of the food truck owners who either already had a B&M before adding a food truck, or had a food truck and 'graduated, if you will' to a food truck.. have all come out in support of food trucks at any public meetings in the fight to bring food trucks to Jax Beach or this latest 'effort' by Reggie Brown. Even B&M's that don't have food trucks have come out in support.

Downtown's largest landlord of restaurants (Jacksonville Landing), has also supported food trucks downtown.


Mr. fieldafm ... forgive me please, but it sounds like claims having rather questionable support from reality ....... attempts to convince, by way of offering rhetoric having a very weak base.  Your attempts to avoid the essence of the issue is showing.  ;)


Are you f'ing kidding me?!?
 

Scrub Palmetto

March 15, 2014, 06:55:36 PM
Thanks for answering, fieldafm. I will take your word for it, because I see it as a silly risk to make up such a thing on a public forum of a localized focus, where any of the people you're speaking about could step in and refute you.

It would be nice, however, if some of the food truck owners and B&M restaurant owners -- the people actually affected by this -- both in support and in opposition would get in on this thread, though I know they're probably busy and stressed enough as it is. Without them, the discussion seems to be unprogressing. I wish I could see the progress being made here that you do, Ron, but after skimming what could fill a whole day of reading, I'm not left with a good sense that any has been made.

stephendare

March 15, 2014, 08:10:55 PM
DIA's primary concern shouldn't be restricting food trucks downtown, it should be studying why when they go brick-and-mortar, they all open in Riverside. Food trucks that later open fixed locations have created over a hundred jobs here in Jacksonville (Corner Taco, Pele's, Blind Fig/Rabbit, etc.) Perhaps DIA would be better off scrapping their "balancing act" approach for a wholistic approach that would keep truck-to-table businesses downtown for the long-haul.

I wonder how perspectives would differ between existing B&Ms downtown and these, if located downtown, given that they were once food trucks themselves. How would they feel about the "threat" of other trucks now that they've joined the ranks of the "threatened" B&M crowd?

(from ronchamblin)   Bingo.  I have some allies in my thinking. Whoever you are .... thank you both  :) Perhaps I'm not a practicing idiot after all.


I can answer that. Every one of the food truck owners who either already had a B&M before adding a food truck, or had a food truck and 'graduated, if you will' to a food truck.. have all come out in support of food trucks at any public meetings in the fight to bring food trucks to Jax Beach or this latest 'effort' by Reggie Brown. Even B&M's that don't have food trucks have come out in support.

Downtown's largest landlord of restaurants (Jacksonville Landing), has also supported food trucks downtown.


Mr. fieldafm ... forgive me please, but it sounds like claims having rather questionable support from reality ....... attempts to convince, by way of offering rhetoric having a very weak base.  Your attempts to avoid the essence of the issue is showing.  ;)


Are you f'ing kidding me?!?

welcome to my world Field.

Ocklawaha

March 15, 2014, 08:32:13 PM
You guys should go en masse and camp out on Nate Fords doorstep over at myrtle Avenue. JTA should eat this up, with their so-called BRT and several Park and Ride locations. Even a little success could spell a huge captive clientele.

ronchamblin

March 16, 2014, 01:28:29 AM
Progress on any issue proceeds at varying rates according to the quality of each input or post - at times moving forward with somewhat clear illustration -- but occasionally slowing as we rest and digest, or exhibit emotion and defense ... or carelessness in our thinking.  I suppose that the objective on any debate is to illustrate, as one is inclined and able, images from one’s mind, as related to the subject at hand.

This, and other forums, allows one to exercise skill at writing, debating, and thinking logically and productively about subjects of interests.  Some of us remain silent on some subjects, feeling no knowledge or passion to it .. saving our time and energy for subjects which hold our interest, or to which we feel best suited.

This food truck issue is interesting to me, not because I fear competition, but because I sometimes enjoy engaging seemingly awkward and difficult problems, especially when I think I see certain aspects which, according to my belief, are absent in the minds of some others.  Most of us, enjoying challenges and troubleshooting, enjoy also the exercise of conveying images related to these challenges.

So .... progress on reaching a consensus on difficult and somewhat complex problems might seem slow or even zero, but all the while, I suspect that most involved in the debate have, to varying degrees, been enlightened by what others have said.  I know that I’ve learned more about the issue, and have shaped my understanding and position to what I suspect is a better one, as a consequence of the arguments of others.

ronchamblin

March 16, 2014, 01:48:05 AM
The food truck issue is more involved than some believe it to be.  To oversimplify an issue, and to depend on this oversimplification as a basis for making decisions, is to run the risk of making wrong decisions.  Your suggestion, Scrub Palmetto, that not much progress has been made, seems valid.  The lack of progress is because we've not yet focused on the real and fundamental aspects of the issue. 

The food truck issue, although seeming simple and solvable via allowing extended freedoms to these trucks, is to expose the fragile city core to dynamics which could impede efforts to revitalize.

My intention has been to discuss what I believe to be some of the peripheral and somewhat hidden consequences of allowing excessive freedoms to food trucks in the core.

As I’ve said before, regarding the food trucks in the core -- extremes to over-regulation, or to total freedom, should not be --  but a middle ground is the key, as the food truck will definitely be a plus for the core, as long as their presence is reasonable, and strategically allowed.

stephendare

March 16, 2014, 09:16:11 AM
there is only one place where it is more involved than most people think it should be.  In your imagination.

ronchamblin

March 16, 2014, 01:10:31 PM
Thanks for the comment Stephen.  One should value the ability and inclination to imagine, as it encourages and allows creativity, prepares one for imagining the structure of a somewhat difficult problem, and thus better prepare for its solution.  A fertile imagination often allows one's perception of important images not available to some.  Of course, the imagination can, if not limited by reality, be evidence of one's drift ever so slowly toward instability, or the insane.

icarus

March 16, 2014, 01:17:45 PM
I guess Downtown Disney isn't worried about food trucks competing with the brick and mortar establishments.



Quote
News! “Food Truck Park” Coming to Disney World’s Downtown Disney in Summer 2014

http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2014/03/14/news-food-truck-park-coming-to-disney-worlds-downtown-disney-in-summer-2014/

stephendare

March 16, 2014, 01:22:14 PM
Thanks for the comment Stephen.  One should value the ability and inclination to imagine, as it encourages and allows creativity, prepares one for imagining the structure of a somewhat difficult problem, and thus better prepare for its solution.  A fertile imagination often allows one's perception of important images not available to some.  Of course, the imagination can, if not limited by reality, be evidence of one's drift ever so slowly toward instability, or the insane.

imagination is also the greatest friend of the groundlessly self obsessed.  Or at least i have found.

Charles Hunter

March 16, 2014, 02:48:58 PM
I guess a basic question is - what does the current law allow? Where, downtown, can food trucks set up now?
 I was under the impression R. Brown's original bill was to restrict FT locations, not allow them to go someplace they can't go now.

*bump* since it seems to have become lost in the back-and-forth

IrvAdams

March 16, 2014, 03:38:45 PM
I guess a basic question is - what does the current law allow? Where, downtown, can food trucks set up now?
 I was under the impression R. Brown's original bill was to restrict FT locations, not allow them to go someplace they can't go now.

*bump* since it seems to have become lost in the back-and-forth

Charles, this exact question was brought up in the first committee meeting regarding FTs last Wednesday. CM Brown seemed amenable to ideas regarding FTs possibly setting up in public areas; someone mentioned Hemming Plaza or a side street where trucks could gather.

It was stated by the city officials present that the purpose of the gathering was to rework CM Brown's proposed legislation line by line in a fashion agreeable to all who were participating in the discussion, which was almost exclusively FT owner/operators.

No one stated what the exact rules were now as to where and when truck(s) could currently park. But also, no one stated categorically what areas were excluded. To be fair, the meeting went on for 2 1/2 hours and is not yet finished. Another meeting will be scheduled in a week or so. It was extremely interesting to attend, and I will try to make the next one also.

Sorry to not answer your question fully, but it's still a work in progress. Also a disclaimer that I am neither a B&M or a FT owner nor am I affiliated. I am just a concerned citizen who is 100 percent in favor of free trade and bright, pretty food trucks serving their delicious fare on every corner in the Core if they wish. Capitalism and competition rock.

ronchamblin

March 16, 2014, 03:51:23 PM
Another case of myopia.

tufsu1

March 16, 2014, 04:23:19 PM
Icarus...Disney isn't worried in part because they are completely revamping Downtown Disney (into Disney Springs)....so all of the retailers will have new spaces and likely new deals...meaning they will know about the food trucks from the get-go

icarus

March 16, 2014, 05:20:12 PM
Actually, if you look at what the existing food trucks in Downtown Disney do, its kind of an economic argument against what Ron has been pushing on here:

1. The food trucks serve food that is not available in Downtown Disney from the brick and mortar establishments.
2. It encourages more people to stay in Downtown Disney by offering food choices to hungry shoppers/tourists who may not be looking for the sit down experience or who otherwise would have left the area to eat (convenience).
3. It creates a more dynamic and vibrant environment by bringing more activity to the streetscape.
4.  Shows how that far from detracting from the brick and mortar establishments, the food trucks have formed a symbiotic relationship that works.

When have you ever known Disney to support anything that doesn't make economic sense ... lets call it the 'mouse theory' of economics.  ;) And, of course, the article just served as an ironic counter point to illustrate the absurdity of some of the arguments for regulation.

ronchamblin

March 16, 2014, 06:15:44 PM
Actually, if you look at what the existing food trucks in Downtown Disney, its kind of an economic argument against what Ron has been pushing on here:

1. The food trucks serve food that is not available in Downtown Disney from the brick and mortar establishments.
2. It encourages more people to stay in Downtown Disney by offering food choices to hungry shoppers/tourists who may not be looking for the sit down experience or who otherwise would have left the area to eat (convenience).
3. It creates a more dynamic and vibrant environment by bringing more activity to the streetscape.
4.  Shows how that far from detracting from the brick and mortar establishments, the food trucks have formed a symbiotic relationship that works.

When have you ever known Disney to support anything that doesn't make economic sense ... lets call it the 'mouse theory' of economics.  ;) And, of course, the article just served as an ironic counter point to illustrate the absurdity of some of the arguments for regulation.

icarua ..... The Disney environment is much different than the Jax city core, don't you think.  There is already a big draw of people into the Disney environment.  There are "lots" of people in the area.  Therefore, there is little reason to regulate the food trucks.  Why?  Because there is enough business for all the restaurants ... B & M, and mobile.

Why is the Jax city core different?  Don't you think there is less people in the Jax core?  There is no big draw in the core to provide customers for both the B & M "and" the food trucks.  Therefore, don't you think that comparing policies at Disney to those concerning the Jax core is ..... well, missing an important point concerning customer population vs the existing B & M in the core meeting the demand? 

As I've said several times, if the proposed food truck invasion is allowed; that is, if the food trucks are allowed excessively into the core, and are allowed to be within a few hundred feet of the B & M restaurants, and "IF" the presence of the food trucks does not "draw" sufficient new customers into the core so that there is enough business for both the B & M "and" the food trucks, then we are looking at some B & M failures - and thus, more vacant buildings. 

Again ... the B & M restaurants in the core opened in the core, expecting competition to be limited to "fixed" B & M's having the potential to open in the area.  Their business plan did not prepare for the expectation that mobile panzer food truck units would invade the core, and be allowed free reign in it ..... killing the B & M's one by one by starving them out.

For legislation to allow excessive numbers of these food truck panzer units  ;D into the core, and too close to the B & M's, would be an act of treason against the B & M's, who've done their best to occupy fixed locations in the core, thus providing a plus for building occupancy, and thus a nudge toward revitalization of the core. 

My position confronts only the legislation concerning food trucks "in the core".  Too often, people forget that I promote food trucks in the core.  I do not promote however, excessive food trucks, nor too close proximity to true B & M's.

I agree with Lake and some others, that we should look at food truck parks (panzer parks), in and around the core, each having two to four trucks.  This would give variety of foods for core customers and visitors.  The arrangement would also give the food truck panzer drivers experience in the food business so that they could take the plunge into a B & M operation .... "OCCUPYING" a building in the core  .... which is "the" measurement of revitalization, by way of "infill" of the vacant buildings in the core.

The seemingly myopic promoters of total freedom for food trucks in the core, if they have their way, will be the cause of further building vacancies in the core .... will be responsible for further delay in our efforts to "occupy" core buildings .... and a further delay in our efforts to  bring infill and vibrancy into the core.

The near sighted, who wish only to have food truck panzer units invade, should be ashamed of themselves for promoting such a thing.  They are promoting B & M failures, and thus more building vacancies.  Why not promote two "positive" things: 1) the opening of B & M restaurants and 2) initiating incentives and education with the goal of getting more residents, businesses, workers ... anything, into the core that results in "occupying buildings".  This latter objective would bring more "permanent" residents, workers, and visitors, and thus produce conditions which would allow, eventually, for proper increases of food truck panzers into the core.   

As I've said before, either extreme ... total freedom or total control, is not necessary.  Total freedom will kill B & M's, and total control of the panzer units  ;D will stifle competition and make for an excessively boring range of menus in the core.

Why don't we stop accusing everyone of wanting one of these extremes.  I certainly don't want either extreme.     

I'm about to go see Bill Maher at the Florida Theatre.  He is a formidable individual ... as against the political and religious mediocrities in this country, and has to be one of the most intelligent and informed comedians on the planet ....... ranking with the deceased George Carlin.

 

stephendare

March 16, 2014, 06:24:13 PM
Icarus...Disney isn't worried in part because they are completely revamping Downtown Disney (into Disney Springs)....so all of the retailers will have new spaces and likely new deals...meaning they will know about the food trucks from the get-go

source?

tufsu1

March 16, 2014, 06:40:54 PM
http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2013/03/announcing-disney-springs-at-walt-disney-world-resort/

and icarus says it above....the food trucks at Downtown Disney offer food items that none of the current establishments there do.

icarus

March 16, 2014, 06:53:12 PM
Ron - I appreciate someone who is passionate about their position but I can't help but feel you are way off base on this one.

I have worked in downtown and riverside area since December 1997.  First, the b&m food businesses are for the most part focused on lunch only service.  Its only been in the last few years that we have gotten a few establishments of any draw potential remaining open for dinner.

As for lunch, there are still not that many options for dining in my opinion. Certainly not enough to keep me from leaving the area out of my palette's sheer boredom. The presence of food trucks is not going to keep me from going to a B&M but it might keep me from leaving downtown entirely.  I really can't think my experience is different from any other person working downtown.  I like pho and BG but ask yourself this, how many times in a week can you eat from one restaurant, in a month, in a year.

What the food trucks do for me .. is keep me downtown .. keep me walking on the streets.  If this is true for the experience of others, I see them encouraging more people to stay downtown .. people who need to purchase items on their lunch break who might be looking to other retail outlets downtown.

If you want to boost business for everyone, give consumers a reason to stay in the area or god forbid, come to an area.

icarus

March 16, 2014, 07:05:36 PM
Icarus...Disney isn't worried in part because they are completely revamping Downtown Disney (into Disney Springs)....so all of the retailers will have new spaces and likely new deals...meaning they will know about the food trucks from the get-go

What's your point? Disney is trying to build a vibrant district and everyone feels food trucks play a role in that?

The retailers aren't worried about food trucks because they are confident in their product and what they are offering the consumer. 

tufsu1

March 16, 2014, 07:11:28 PM
^ there is no question that food trucks add to vibrancy...the issue/concern has always been about competition and what some (not me) feel is an unfair advantage for the trucks.

You noted in a post above that isn't a problem at Downtown Disney, because the food trucks offer things the current dining establishments don't.

JaxByDefault

March 16, 2014, 07:29:36 PM

Again ... the B & M restaurants in the core opened in the core, expecting competition to be limited to "fixed" B & M's having the potential to open in the area.  Their business plan did not prepare for the expectation that mobile panzer food truck units would invade the core, and be allowed free reign in it ..... killing the B & M's one by one by starving them out.

For legislation to allow excessive numbers of these food truck panzer units  ;D into the core, and too close to the B & M's, would be an act of treason against the B & M's, who've done their best to occupy fixed locations in the core, thus providing a plus for building occupancy, and thus a nudge toward revitalization of the core. 
 

Brick and mortars opened in the core expecting only competition from other brick and mortars? Food trucks have been around forever. It seems that many restaurant owners are upset that food trucks are increasingly popular. It's like opening a cupcake shop and then getting mad that cronuts became trendy. Wouldn't restaurants that offer a product that people want at reasonable prices still do well? I love food trucks, but sometimes, its cold/raining/hot or I just feel like dining inside.

I'm not sure I like the idea of food truck parks just because they'll likely be put somewhere inconvenient for pedestrians. Most of the other proposed regulations -- especially those having to do with limiting hours -- are patently ridiculous. (Does anyone go to a food truck expecting it to have restrooms within 100 ft?)

I get that there is concern that some places may close and leave empty space, but what's not to say better and more frequented establishments won't take their place. There's plenty of room in core for choice (even when those choices are on each other's doorsteps.)

RiversideLoki

March 16, 2014, 07:41:45 PM
So, wait. Ron, are you for food trucks, or completely against them in the urban core? Or do you just want to limit the amount of them in the core? Because I'm kinda getting mixed messages, here.

Steve

March 16, 2014, 07:46:51 PM
Bottom line is that with any business, unless the food truck parks and literally blocks the front door from entry, competition should be encouraged. I'm not in the restaraunt business but my business certainly has competition, and you deal with it and learn to adapt.

Part of what makes districts vibrant is the competition from each other, making each business strive to be better.

thekillingwax

March 16, 2014, 08:26:17 PM
I wouldn't even factor Downtown Disney into any equation. The food trucks there are all run and operated by disney. They're not really like food trucks at all, more like disney fast food on wheels. The stuff isn't bad but it's a very sterile and safe tourist experience for folks from BFE, Alabama to tell their kin they lived dangerously and ate from one of them food trucks they've seen on food network. It's very calculated and planned situation, they're not competing with the brick/mortar, they essentially are brick and mortar but on wheels. I have the feeling that once a permanent spot for them is opened, they'll rarely move or pack up.

thelakelander

March 16, 2014, 09:56:28 PM
Ron probably wouldn't like my ideal locations for food truck parks.  I'd let 10-20 of them line centralized spaces like Hemming or the courthouse square without second thought. The idea would be to activate dead spaces.  Sticking them out near I-95 or in Talleyrand, because a ham sandwich shop is afraid of competition or believes it's entitled to a certain area of downtown would be ridiculous.

ronchamblin

March 16, 2014, 11:23:48 PM
So, wait. Ron, are you for food trucks, or completely against them in the urban core? Or do you just want to limit the amount of them in the core? Because I'm kinda getting mixed messages, here.

I believe that food trucks would be good in the core .... offering a variety much needed for the consumers in the area.  And too, if the momentum increases, the food trucks will not only encourage workers to remain in the core during lunch, but the trucks might draw people in from outside the core.

Perhaps the time has come for experimentation.  Let the trucks set up in the core, perhaps with only limited restrictions, and let's see what happens.  The market will control the number of food trucks in the core.  As for the locations allowed .. give them freedom.  The market will decide if the location is right.

As for the times of operation .. why be concerned.  The market will take care of this too.

The only action for assistance to the B & M, might be to  provide restrooms or toilets in certain areas, as the B & M should not be required to have restroom facilities for non-customers.



 

Apache

March 16, 2014, 11:28:15 PM
"Again ... the B & M restaurants in the core opened in the core, expecting competition to be limited to "fixed" B & M's having the potential to open in the area.  Their business plan did not prepare for the expectation that mobile panzer food truck units would invade the core, and be allowed free reign in it ..... killing the B & M's one by one by starving them out."


Looks like their business plans turned out to be short sighted eh?

rutabaga

March 17, 2014, 06:05:56 AM
So, wait. Ron, are you for food trucks, or completely against them in the urban core? Or do you just want to limit the amount of them in the core? Because I'm kinda getting mixed messages, here.

I believe that food trucks would be good in the core .... offering a variety much needed for the consumers in the area.  And too, if the momentum increases, the food trucks will not only encourage workers to remain in the core during lunch, but the trucks might draw people in from outside the core.

Perhaps the time has come for experimentation.  Let the trucks set up in the core, perhaps with only limited restrictions, and let's see what happens.  The market will control the number of food trucks in the core.  As for the locations allowed .. give them freedom.  The market will decide if the location is right.

As for the times of operation .. why be concerned.  The market will take care of this too.

The only action for assistance to the B & M, might be to  provide restrooms or toilets in certain areas, as the B & M should not be required to have restroom facilities for non-customers.


Looks like a slight change in position if you ask me. 

Steve

March 17, 2014, 06:06:33 PM
Dangerous food truck sighting:


Not one, but two evil food trucks right outside of Black Sheep. Downright shocked that Allan and Jon aren't out here protesting their existence.

Or....dare I say it....can food trucks and B&M establishments coexist?

thelakelander

March 17, 2014, 08:18:53 PM
Maybe Allan and Jon are too emotional to rationally understand how food trucks will destroy urban life as we know it.

stephendare

March 17, 2014, 08:23:55 PM
Maybe they dont realize that they are radioactive and dangerous.  Just looking for a downtown to flatten.

Obviously the city has only one possible remedy.  Ban Black Sheep.  Or else downtown will never obtain the vibrancy it needs.

tufsu1

March 17, 2014, 08:59:49 PM
Dangerous food truck sighting:


Not one, but two evil food trucks right outside of Black Sheep. Downright shocked that Allan and Jon aren't out here protesting their existence.

or perhaps its a special event

Dog Walker

March 18, 2014, 01:21:25 PM
Dangerous food truck sighting:


Not one, but two evil food trucks right outside of Black Sheep. Downright shocked that Allan and Jon aren't out here protesting their existence.

or perhaps its a special event

It was O'Brother's annual St. Patrick's Day street party also sponsored by the 5 Points Merchants Assn.  There is no way that the five restaurants in that block between Park and Oak could have fed the 2000+ people who were there.  Hawkers even had a booth set up serving food.

Even a little rain couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of that crowd.  Good fun!

RyeRyeRocco

April 22, 2014, 08:55:37 PM
This will perhaps be a little more risky than the food truck, and will perhaps require the bravest of these heroes, but it will be more challenging to the spirit, and will certainly fill one more space or building in the core -- something the core sorely needs .. something directly related to a journey toward vibrancy. 

I am sorry to come in a month later on this but WTF. "the bravest of heroes"?? I operate a truck and I have done so at leaving a great job to go into business for me. It's what I chose. You banter around this topic like you know best; offering little to no insight. I believe somewhere on Page 25 you have finally given up and accepted trucks.

Personally, I am appalled that you think a B/M is of a different ilk then a truck. It is almost one in the same in business aspects. You hire, you sell, you pay taxes. "Bravest of heroes" is just horse$%(t.

ronchamblin

April 22, 2014, 10:29:37 PM
On page 24, I gave a summary of my opinion, as massaged and influenced over the last few pages on the subject.

My posts are meant to offer opinions, and options to thinking on subjects that interest me.  The discussions on this forum offer excellent opportunities for exercising our abilities to exchange ideas about subjects of interest.  As we argue, we improve both our thinking and our writing.  We attempt to persuade and enlighten others.  We attempt to learn from others.  And we usually attempt to do so with calm.   

I observe some individuals change their minds during the discussions, being persuaded by what others have said, but also as a consequence of their own contemplation.  To change one's thinking is usually to improve it.

The emotions shown, as in your case, are good in that it shows how serious you take the subject and the ideas of others.  It also shows, in this case, that you are probably assuming something about me and my thinking that is erroneous.

During the food truck discussion, I attempted to convey some factors about the debate which I believed had been absent.  To introduce aspects and points, some of which might be apposed to others, is my decision. I like to offer points that I believe might affect the consensus.  Although a point or factor affecting a scenario might be valid, the weight of it might be in dispute.

When I say that ... "food trucks, if not controlled in the core as to population, hours, and distance from brick and mortar establishments -- will gradually work against the objective of occupying buildings in the core, and against the long term goal of achieving core vibrancy", I only wish to offer this as a factor to consider.  The "degree" of this pressure is unknown to me.  It might be inconsequential, or it might be considerable. 

My intention was to introduce the idea for consideration.  Usually, some individuals assume that I give great weight to a factor, when for the most part, my purpose was only to introduce the idea of it.  Surely most would want anyone to at least introduce an idea affecting a scenario, instead of remaining silent about it.

I have said that..  "Brick and mortar restaurants invest and open with the assumption and trust that the competition will be limited to areas of close proximity".  Some will say that this statement has no validity .. that it has no weight.  My objective was to introduced the idea of it. The weight given to it is open to others.  Obviously those food trucks wanting to encroach close to these established brick and mortars want to give the statement very little weight or validity.  I will guess that some brick and mortar's will give it great weight.  I enjoy offering options to thinking on issues.

Keep On Truckin.

Designer

June 06, 2014, 08:09:57 PM
With the JTA lunchtime trolley service to Riverside, gov't removes a large portion of d'town lunch money from d'town.  Sudden food truck anxiety from gov't seems to confirm that local gov't wishes to reduce access to palatable and affordable food in the CBD.  If local gov't determines food trucks are okay in CBD, then I think we should figure food trucks are hastening the demise of downtown lunchrooms.
Note that allowing art galleries to sell alcohol during Art Walk and sometimes giving free (taxpayer-funded) beer kegs during Art Walk, e.g. Artoberfest in October, for more than ten years has hurt downtown's bars and taverns.
In a 40-years-slow economic erosion, downtown Jacksonville shed its U. S. post office, all office supply stores, all dime stores, all department stores, popcorn and other food vendors serving the central bus stop, all commercial movie theaters, all package liquor stores, all public drinking water fountains, all public telephones, and the most important events ticket office in  north FL (originally at Visitors and Convention Bureau in Hemming Park, then at Ticketmaster desk inside downtown Sears, presently at the service desk of the Avenues Mall).  Will all alcoholic libations and all sit-down food service outside the major hotels be next to go?

Tacachale

June 06, 2014, 08:22:06 PM
As far as the bars go, there are more downtown now and they're in better shape than ten years ago. I expect there aren't many that do worse business during Art Walk.

ChriswUfGator

June 07, 2014, 06:08:09 AM
With the JTA lunchtime trolley service to Riverside, gov't removes a large portion of d'town lunch money from d'town.  Sudden food truck anxiety from gov't seems to confirm that local gov't wishes to reduce access to palatable and affordable food in the CBD.  If local gov't determines food trucks are okay in CBD, then I think we should figure food trucks are hastening the demise of downtown lunchrooms.
Note that allowing art galleries to sell alcohol during Art Walk and sometimes giving free (taxpayer-funded) beer kegs during Art Walk, e.g. Artoberfest in October, for more than ten years has hurt downtown's bars and taverns.
In a 40-years-slow economic erosion, downtown Jacksonville shed its U. S. post office, all office supply stores, all dime stores, all department stores, popcorn and other food vendors serving the central bus stop, all commercial movie theaters, all package liquor stores, all public drinking water fountains, all public telephones, and the most important events ticket office in  north FL (originally at Visitors and Convention Bureau in Hemming Park, then at Ticketmaster desk inside downtown Sears, presently at the service desk of the Avenues Mall).  Will all alcoholic libations and all sit-down food service outside the major hotels be next to go?

Well...there's more to it. Shedding the public water fountains, telephones, restrooms, benches, etc., etc. was part of a deliberate strategy to make the area less attractive to homeless people. It of course had the effect of making it less attractive to people generally, and compounded the problem rather than resolving it.

IrvAdams

June 07, 2014, 08:17:10 AM
With the JTA lunchtime trolley service to Riverside, gov't removes a large portion of d'town lunch money from d'town.  Sudden food truck anxiety from gov't seems to confirm that local gov't wishes to reduce access to palatable and affordable food in the CBD.  If local gov't determines food trucks are okay in CBD, then I think we should figure food trucks are hastening the demise of downtown lunchrooms.
Note that allowing art galleries to sell alcohol during Art Walk and sometimes giving free (taxpayer-funded) beer kegs during Art Walk, e.g. Artoberfest in October, for more than ten years has hurt downtown's bars and taverns.
In a 40-years-slow economic erosion, downtown Jacksonville shed its U. S. post office, all office supply stores, all dime stores, all department stores, popcorn and other food vendors serving the central bus stop, all commercial movie theaters, all package liquor stores, all public drinking water fountains, all public telephones, and the most important events ticket office in  north FL (originally at Visitors and Convention Bureau in Hemming Park, then at Ticketmaster desk inside downtown Sears, presently at the service desk of the Avenues Mall).  Will all alcoholic libations and all sit-down food service outside the major hotels be next to go?

Well...there's more to it. Shedding the public water fountains, telephones, restrooms, benches, etc., etc. was part of a deliberate strategy to make the area less attractive to homeless people. It of course had the effect of making it less attractive to people generally, and compounded the problem rather than resolving it.

Yes, I agree that removing water, restrooms and other basic amenities seemed like a deliberate and misguided attempt to herd away (rather than directly address) the homeless issue. Yes, these people are homeless, but yes, they are also people and are citizens within our boundaries. A little simple respect would be refreshing.

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